Accusing the BJP of acting “power hungry” in Goa, the Congress on Saturday demanded that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar step down and it be allowed to prove majority by convening a special session of the state assembly.
Congress leaders Pawan Khera and Goa PCC chief Girish Chodankar claimed that the BJP is not removing Parrikar from the chief minister’s post fearing that he might “spill the beans” on the Rafale fighter jet deal.
The opposition party also accused the BJP of “betraying” the people of Goa and “killing governance” in the state.
“Power hungry BJP first murdered democracy in Goa and is now killing Governance there. The clamour for power has cemented a corrupt, callous and cheat BJP to the CM Chair in Goa. The BJP has no constitutional right to continue in power in Goa, even for a single day,” said Khera.
The opposition party alleged that the BJP “usurped” power in Goa through backdoor. “People of Goa had given the mandate to the Congress. Governor Mridula Sinha should listen to the voice of people of Goa and opposition parties and allow us to prove our numbers on the floor of the House.
“A special session of the Goa Assembly should be immediately convened and there should be a floor test. This will clear all doubts about who is in-charge in Goa and who has the rightful claim to head a democratic government,” Chodankar said.
He claimed the Congress has a majority in Goa and added that “Goans deserve a full time chief minister and to ensure democracy and constitutional functioning, a floor test is imperative”.
At the same time, he added “no constitutional morality can be expected from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah because they are drunk with power”.
Replying to a query, he said as the Defence Minister, Parrikar must have had a lot of information on the Rafale deal.
“So we have no doubt that the moment the Prime Minister and the BJP President pressure him or demand his resignation or they try to remove him, Manohar Parrikar will not keep quiet, he will reveal all the secret information, important information, which can expose our Prime Minister,” he claimed.
Khera said the Congress has been demanding that the Goa Governor convene a one-day special session so that it can ask the government to prove majority.
“The moment we get the first opportunity, we will prove it and we will show we can form the government. Today itself if you call the session that I am here, we will be able to prove majority in the assembly,” he claimed.
Wishing Parrikar a speedy recovery and long life, he said his ailment cannot be an impediment to the aspirations of the people of Goa as people of the state want governance, administration and progress.
“Instead of taking Cabinet meetings in AIIMS Delhi, Parrikar should show moral righteousness and voluntarily step down from his post, and get ready for a floor test,” he said.
Khera alleged that the “state is headless, governance is paralyzed, administration is crippled, there is complete breakdown of authority, rule of law has collapsed, people are feeling cheated with absolutely no policy and direction and Goa is in chaos”.
Parrikar, who is undergoing treatment for a pancreatic ailment in New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), held meetings with party leaders as well as allies on Friday to discuss ways to ensure that his government functions normally.
He is expected to shed “many” of his portfolios after Dussehra, according to ministers who met him.
But Khere said, “This desperate drama of holding a cabinet meeting in AIIMS and playing musical chairs with the portfolio of ministers is the last straw and is akin to rubbing salt on wounds of people of Goa.”
In the 40-member state assembly, the Parrikar government has the support of 23 MLAs. These comprise 14 BJP MLAs, three each from the Goa Forward Party and MGP as well as three Independents. The opposition Congress is the single largest party in the Goa assembly with 16 MLAs.