Oppn wants Kar­nataka model in Goa, Bi­har

The Free Press Journal - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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