Friday 20 September 2019

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Politics | Toppling Games

Ravi, Shaikh groups join BJP

 

The process of destabilising the 11-month old coalition government led by Francisco Sardinha in Goa has already taken off with Ravi Naik, the opposition leader, splitting from the Congress to join the Bharatiya Janata Party – partner in the ruling coalition.

On the other hand, another Congress splinter group of five led by Shaikh Hassan, which had split earlier on 15 August to support the coalition government, has also merged into the BJP.

"Soon after getting approval from our central leadership, we will formally withdraw support to the government and stake claim to form the alternate government", said Manohar Parrikar, who is tipped to be the chief minister of Goa's first BJP government.

Sardinha, who is arriving here tomorrow from his Australia tour, will be now thus reduced to a minority of only 11 members belonging to his Goa People's Congress in the 40-member House with this dramatic development.

While governor Mohammad Fazal is also flying down here from Delhi tomorrow, the activity may gain momentum only thereafter, depending upon whether Sardinha willingly steps down or offers to go for a floor test to prove his majority.

The BJP, which had come to power for the first time in spite of having only 10 members in the House, would now rise to 19 after roping in nine Congressmen into the saffron camp, including one Muslim and two Christian leaders.

"We have responded to the call given by the BJP chief Bangaru Laxman to the minorities. Let us see whether they are really secular", said Shaikh, a staunch Congressman otherwise for the last two decades.

Besides former ministers Prakash Velip and Suresh Parulekar, his group also comprises of two Christian legislators – Jose Philip D'Souza and Philip Neri Rodrigues. Except Parulekar, rest of them are likely to be included in the cabinet.

Naik, the opposition leader, claims that he split from the Congress to provide stability in the state with one-party government rather than continuing with toppling games continuously. With him, former union law minister Ramakant Khalap has also joined the BJP camp.

Goa, nowadays, has become a hot seat for frequent topplings since 1990. In fact, Parrikar would be the 13th chief minister within a decade and the third one in last 16 months, after the fresh Assembly polls held in June last year.

The present BJP government however also need not be called a stable one since it would be run with outside support of the two-member Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and one independent.

Pandurang Raut, the MGP leader, however confirmed that he would participate in the government as a minister, though the party would support from outside. 






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