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BJP central observers reach Goa to take stock of situation, Congress keeps watch


PANAJI: A three-member team of central observers of the ruling BJP arrived in Goa on Sunday afternoon to take stock of the political situation in view of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s indisposition, even as the Congress said it is watching the developments.

Parrikar, 62, has been admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi for treatment.

Some media reports have suggested that the BJP is exploring alternatives for the chief minister’s position in Goa till Parrikar gets well.

The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) sent its national general secretaries B L Santhosh and Ram Lal and Goa in-charge Vijay Puranik to assess the situation in the state, where the party came to power with the support of regional outfits and Independents.

“They will be holding a series of meetings on Sunday and Monday with BJP leaders and also the alliance partners — the Goa Forward Party, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Independents,” BJP state chief Vinay Tendulkar told reporters.

BJP leader Michael Lobo, who is the deputy speaker of the Goa Assembly, had told on Saturday that the party emissaries will suggest the allies that they should become part of the saffron party.

“A proposal will be made to the GFP and the MGP, asking them to merge with the BJP. Only after that, we will take up issues such as who will be the next chief minister or who will take over the charge or anything related to it,” Lobo had said.

The BJP currently has 14 legislators in the 40-member assembly while the GFP and the MGP have three each. The national party is also supported by three Independents.

The opposition Congress has 16 MLAs while the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has one legislator.

Meanwhile, the Congress on Sunday said it was watching the developments and may explore the possibility of forming government in Goa but “not by compromising the state’s interest”.

“Our stand is very clear. We will definitely explore all possibilities but that does not mean that we will do it by compromising the ideology or the interest of Goans,” All India Congress Committee secretary A Chellakumar, who is also Goa in-charge of the party, said.

“We are not in a hurry to capture power by compromising the interest of the people of Goa. The Congress is accountable to the people,” he added.

Chellakumar said his party was watching the developments in the state.

“All our MLAs are together. We are watching what is going on in the ruling camp. The internal bickering has already started. The cabinet ministers have started throwing stones at each other,” he said.

The Congress leader said all legislators in Goa, cutting across party lines, should take a stand for the sake of the state.

Parrikar was admitted to the AIIMS on Saturday morning. He had undergone a three-month-long treatment in the United States for pancreatic ailment earlier this year.

The MGP had said on Saturday it was “high time” Parrikar handed over the charge to the senior-most minister in his cabinet during his absence.

Source: Economic Times