Congress stakes claim in Goa; BJP in a huddle

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Panaji, March 18 (IANS) Claiming to be the single largest party in the 36-member state legislative Assembly, the Congress on Sunday formally staked its claim to form government in Goa with Governor Mridula Sinha.

The Bharatiya Janata Party legislators and top state leaders, along with the lawmakers from alliance parties namely Goa Forward, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and three independent MLAs, have gone into a huddle at the private residence of late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, where they were expected to meet Union Minister Nitin Gadkari shortly to chart out a strategy to form the government in the state.

Parrikar passed away on Sunday evening after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 63.

In a letter to Sinha, Congress leader of the Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar said: “The coalition partners of the Parrikar-led government had allied with the BJP on the condition that the government would be headed by Parrikar, the then Defence Minister of India. The BJP, therefore, has no allies as of now,” Kavlekar said in his letter to Sinha, stating that it was up to her to ensure the “smooth transition and transfer of power” in the state.

“The Congress being the single largest party, its leader is entitled to be invited to form the next government. We therefore once again stake our claim to form the government and request Your Excellency to extend the invitation to our leaders to form the next government,” the letter said.

–IANS

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