Ball in Gov’s court as CM leaves void
18th March 2019, 03:22 Hrs
the goan I network
Goa Governor Mridula Sinha has a tightrope walk ahead to take a call on how to fill the constitutional vacuum following the passing away of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday evening.
Sinha, however, has not said a word on her line of conduct even as constitutional experts said she has just two choices -- either swear-in a new chief minister or recommend a brief spell of President’s Rule by keeping the Assembly in suspended animation -- before the funeral of Parrikar on Monday evening.
Monday could see a tug-of-war for power between the two principal political parties -- BJP and the Opposition Congress.
Parrikar’s death, weeks after that of former deputy chief minister Francis D’Souza, has brought the ruling BJP’s strength in the Goa Legislative Assembly down to 12 MLAs in a House whose strength now stands at 36.
BJP also enjoys the support of six more MLAs belonging to alliance partners -- MGP and Goa Forward Party -- besides three independents. However their support will have to be expressed afresh as their letters at the time of government formation specifically mentioned that their support was for Manohar Parrikar.
Meanwhile, all these nine MLAs -- MGP (3), GFP (3) and 3 Independents -- had reached the private residence of Parrikar at Dona Paula on Sunday night. Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari who was expected arrive tonight will hold consultations with them on the future course.
The Congress, meanwhile, held a CLP meeting late on Sunday night and is likely to stake claim again to form the government on the ground that it is the single largest party and should be given the mantle to prove its strength in the House. The Congress has 14 MLAs.
Earlier in the day, the Congress slammed the Governor for ignoring Opposition Leader Chandrakant Kavlekar’s plea for an audience.
“It appears that Sinha is still functioning with the mindset of a BJP office-bearer. It is a Constitutional Office. She is answerable to the people of Goa and to the Constitution,” GPCC chief Girish Chodankar said recalling that office-bearers of the BJP get walk-in access to the Raj Bhavan but the Opposition Leader’s requests in writing are not even being acknowledged by the Governor’s office.
Chodankar said, AICC secretary in-charge of Goa A Chellakumar is expected to arrive here on Sunday night itself and the party’s Central leadership has been apprised of the latest developments.
The strength of Goa legislative assembly dropped from 40 to 38 last year after Mandrem MLA Dayanand Sopte and Shiroda MLA Subhash Shirodkar quit their membership to switch sides from the Congress to the BJP. In February, it slipped further to 37 with the death of D’Souza and now to 36 with Parrikar’s passing away on Sunday.