Oppn wants Karnataka model in Goa, Bihar
In a case of tit for tat politics, the Congress has decided to take the fight into the BJP camp by re-invoking its rights as the single largest party and staking claim to the government in three BJP-ruled states -- Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya.
What has complicated things for the BJP is not just the Congress’ claim to form a government in Goa but the disquiet within the BJP-led coalition.
Acting in tandem, the leader of opposition and the RJD leader, Tejashwi Yadav, has offered to parade the MLAs of his party – which secured most seats in the assembly elections held in 2015 – before the Governor.
The RJD had then formed a government with the Janata Dal United of Nitish Kumar with Tejaswi as the deputy CM. However, Nitish broke the alliance and joined hands with the BJP to form a new government. So, despite being the single-largest party at the time when the alliance broke, the governor did not invite the RJD to form the next government.
The current dispensation in Goa is a rag-tag coalition that the BJP had cobbled together post-election to fend off the Congress, which was the single largest party.
(The Congress had bagged 17 seats in the 40-member House, falling short of the majority figure by four seats. The BJP, which had got 14 seats, formed the government in a post-poll alliance with the Goa Forward Party and the MGP, both of which had secured three seats each. Three Independents also went with the BJP. )
Interestingly, the Congress will be citing the recent example of Karnataka to make a rejuvenated effort to destabilise the existing BJP coalition. That Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is undergoing treatment in the US has added to the discomfort of the BJP.
The Congress on Thursday rushed its senior leaders and AICC Secretary Dr A Chella Kumar, incharge of Goa affairs, to Panjim. They will meet Governor Mridula Sinha on Friday to assert that the Congress is the single largest party even now and hence she should follow the example of Karnataka to let it form the government, party sources said.
In Manipur, former chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh has also staked claim to forming the government and will meet the governor.
Meanwhile, the Congress is preparing a similar strategy for Meghalaya where, in the recently held Assembly polls, it won the maximum seats: 21 in the 60-member Assembly.
Talking to a TV channel, former Goa CM and a senior leader of the BJP, Laxmikant Parsekar, described the state Congress’ move as a “opportunistic exercise.”
“Where were they for the last 15 months? They failed to come up with a name for the Chief Minister’s post for the first 3-4 days and now they’ve suddenly woken up,” Parsekar said. However, Sanjay Jha, senior Congress leader and party spokesperson, said that his party was just following the precedent set by the Governor in Karnataka.