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BJP, Congress try to cobble up numbers in Goa

Goa Assembly Hung

Panaji, March 12 : Even as the Congress and the BJP started hectic parleys with regional groups and independents in a bid to form a government in Goa, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Sunday told Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar not to “fish” in the state’s troubled waters.

Singh, who is expected to oversee a meeting of newly elected Congress legislators and finalise an alliance before submitting a list of MLAs to Governor Mridular Sinha, also said that the Congress will not compromise on core issues while making a bid for power.

“My sympathies for Manohar Parrikar. But give him credit for his never say die spirit. In spite of losing badly he is still fishing in troubled waters! Come on Parrikarji, now relax in Delhi and prove to be a good Defence Minister. Who knows if you play your cards well, you may replace Modi!” Digvijaya said on his Facebook account.

“As we have a fractured mandate we are seeking support from all non-BJP MLAs without compromising on core promises made in our manifesto. We have learnt our lesson: corruption shall not be tolerated.

“We shall sincerely work for Goa and Goans. The Congress should also understand that the people of Goa have given us the last chance to perform or else perish. May God help us,” Singh added.

The Congress has emerged as the single largest party with 17 seats in the 40-member house and is expected to stake claim to form a government by Sunday evening.

Meanwhile, the BJP is also in a huddle with its MLAs in Panaji at which Parrikar and union minister Nitin Gadkari are present along with caretaker Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar.

The BJP, which won 13 seats in the February 4 election, needs the support of eight legislators to hit the simple majority mark.

“We are in touch with all the regional parties and independent candidates. We are confident of getting the numbers. MGP (Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party), which has three MLAs, has already been a part of our coalition while a senior Goa Forward leader has already said he prefers the Chief Ministership of Parrikar,” a BJP leader told IANS.

While the Congress and BJP have accounted for a bulk of the seats, Goa Forward and the MGP, both regional parties, have won three seats each. Three independents were also elected.

The NCP, wiped out in 2012, won one seat, with former Chief Minister Churchill Alemao bagging south Goa’s Benaulim constituency.

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