Decision after talks with Gadkari: BJP’s Goa allies

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Panaji, March 18 (IANS) All decisions about a fresh bid for power will be taken after a discussion with Union Minister Nitin Gadkari who is expected to arrive in Goa soon, leaders from regional political party who were part of the BJP-led alliance government said.

Speaking to reporters at a city hotel past midnight on Sunday, former minister in the late Manohar Parrikar cabinet Vijai Sardesai also said an informal proposal for a non MLA Chief Minister was also discussed at a brief meeting with BJP leaders earlier on Sunday.

“Nobody can take anybody for granted at the moment. Everybody has to work in cohesion for this thing to survive. Nobody can take anybody for granted. The numbers are such that everybody has to take each person seriously,” Sardesai told reporters in Panaji.

“When he (Gadkari) comes we will meet him. First their party should decide what they want,” Sardesai also said, adding that the BJP could not choose a chief ministerial candidate without the blessings of the alliance partners.

“Without our say what will happen,” Sardesai said.

Goa has descended into a political crisis, following the death of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar due to advanced pancreatic cancer on Sunday.

While the Congress has already formally staked claim to form government claiming to be the single largest party with 14 MLAs in the 36 member state assembly, members of the alliance government headed by the late Parrikar are now stepping up pressure on the BJP, vis a vis formation of a new ruling alliance.

Former Public Works Department Minister and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party leader Sudin Dhavalikar said that any decision on cobbling together a fresh alliance would depend on discussions with Gadkari, who is expected to land in Goa soon.

“At this stage nothing is acceptable until there is discussion. Nothing is accepted until you discuss,” Dhavalikar said.

While the Congress has 14 MLAs, the BJP has 12, MGP and Goa Forward has three MLAs each, while there are four independent MLAs in the state legislative assembly, which has been reduced to 36 seats owing to the deaths of Parrikar and BJP MLA Francis D’Souza. Last year two Congress MLAs quit their legislatorship and the party to join the BJP.

–IANS

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