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How BJP's Manohar Parrikar averted coup by Congress in Goa

Fresh developments indicate that 10 Congress legislators were in talks with the BJP

IANS  |  Panaji 

manohar, parrikar, Manohar Parrikar
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Goa Chief Minister may have just managed to quell a coup.

The Congress, fresh from its sacking of Digvijaya Singh as a central overseer, made fresh overtures to allies in the Bharatiya Janata Party-led ministry in a bid to topple the Parrikar government.

While both the and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), which have three seats each in the 38-member (an MLA each from the and have resigned) have rejected reports of a coup and the on Saturday claimed the government is stable, Goa's appears primed to replay its mercurial and unstable edge of the 1990-2000 decade -- when the state saw 14 Chief Ministers.

The fresh developments, during which the claimed to have been in touch with several MLAs and the counter-claiming that 10 legislators were in touch with its leadership, have, however, ended with some egg on the face of state President and legislator Luizinho Faleiro.

Faleiro's leadership has again been challenged by a section of MLAs.

sources said they had re-established contact with founder-member and now Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai and two Independent MLAs in a bid to win him over.

"His condition to joining a Congress-led government continues to be the same as it was before he joined the BJP-led formation in March. He wants Faleiro out of the decision-making hierarchy. He wanted our MLA Digambar Kamat (former Chief Minister) in charge of negotiations and as the coalition leader," a senior party leader told IANS.

The party official also said that efforts to topple the BJP-led coalition government had been intensified following A Chellakumar's promotion as General Secretary in charge of Goa.

He was earlier an understudy to Digvijay Singh, who was unceremoniously sacked a few weeks back.

Faleiro, a two-time Chief Minister, led the campaign in the February 4 polls. But his running feud with Sardesai could have cost the the opportunity to stake claim to form government despite the party emerging with 17 seats of the 40 Goa assembly seats.

Sardesai is known to have more than cordial relations with Kamat. Both politicians have successfully partnered together in the municipal elections in Margao, a major Goa township.

The loyalty of legislators appear to be split between Kamat and Faleiro although the formally has denied any rift and Faleiro has even offered to surrender his rank for the health of the party.

"I am ready to quit any position for the party... If even one MLA feels that we can form a government and that it (my resignation) will help and facilitate that, then I am ready to quit," Faleiro said.

With MLA Vishwajeet Rane resigning on March 13 and becoming the Health Minister in the Parrikar cabinet, the needs five MLAs to obtain a simple majority and therefore the support of with its three MLAs and two Independents helps the party make the numeric cut.

But Sardesai, who led the poll campaign and canvassed for votes in the Catholic-dominated areas on an anti-pitch, now claims his support to the and Parrikar is unequivocal and he would never betray the latter.

"Parrikar gave up his ministry in Delhi on our word. I will never let him down. This government is stable and it will last its full term," he said.

The too has strongly refuted reports of a coup, with its state President Vinay Tendulkar insisting that in fact the which is in turmoil.

"This government will continue full-strength and last its full five year term," Tendulkar told IANS.

Asked if the had tried to poach ruling alliance partners, he said: "As many as 10 MLAs are in talks with us. They are willing to join the "

First Published: Sun, May 14 2017. 18:27 IST