Even as the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) failed to secure a majority in Goa, its newly elected MLAs on Sunday passed a resolution demanding the return of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar as the Chief Minister of the state.
The resolution was passed at a meeting of BJP MLAs at a meeting attended by Parrikar, union minister Nitin Gadkari and caretaker Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar.
Parrikar left the meeting temporarily when the resolution was passed, BJP MLA Michael Lobo told reporters.
"The people want Parrikar to come back to Goa. Now it will depend on the Goa Forward Party and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party. If they support us, we will form the government in the state," Lobo, who got elected from Calangute constituency, told reporters outside the party headquarters here.
Parrikar was Chief Minister of Goa before he was elevated as the Defence Minister in November 2014.
Lobo also said that the leaders of the BJP, which emerged as the second largest party in the February 4 election with 13 of the 40 seats, were in talks with Goa Forward and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) as well as independents over the formation of an alliance.
The BJP has the support of Independent MLA Govind Gawade, who was backed by the party during the election from Priol constituency. Lobo said two other Independents may also support the BJP.
Both the regional parties have won three seats each, while three independent candidates have also been elected.
MGP leader Sudin Dhavalikar has said that his party is ready to extend support to BJP if Parrikar returns as the CM.
The BJP needs the support of eight MLAs to reach the magic number of 21 seats in the assembly. The Congress has won 17 seats and is the single largest party.
"We are confident of getting the required numbers and stake claim to form the government on Monday," Lobo said.
He said if the GFP and MGP pledge support, the BJP can submit a letter to Goa Governor Mridula Sinha staking claim to form the state government.
"Goa had witnessed tremendous development in last five years and a Chief Minister like Manohar Parrikar is required to take it ahead," he said.
Another BJP legislator Pramod Sawant, who got re-elected from Sankhalim constituency on party ticket for the second time, said the state government under Parrikar's leadership can deliver better.
"People have seen the kind of development that the state witnessed under his guidance. We do not want the state to suffer for next five years," Sawant said.
BJP MLA Nilesh Cabral, who won Curchorem, said that since the people of Goa have given a fractured mandate, all parties other than Congress can come together under Parrikar's leadership.
"There is no clear mandate for any party to form the government. In such a situation, all the parties other than Congress can come together under the leadership of Parrikar for the welfare of the state," Cabral said.
People want Parrikar to come back to Goa: BJP MLA
Panaji: Three of the BJP's newly elected MLAs today rooted for Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to take the lead to form government in Goa, if the smaller parties back it.
"The people want Parrikar to come back to Goa. Now it will depend on the Goa Forward Party and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party. If they support us, we will form the government in the state," BJP legislator Michael Lobo, who got elected from Calangute constituency, told reporters outside the party headquarters here.
Both the Congress and the BJP are expected to woo the regional forces to get the required numbers to form government in the tourist state where the majority mark is 21.
Independent candidate Rohan Khaunte, backed by the Congress, won in Porvorim seat taking the partys tally to 18.
The party is now short of three legislators to stake claim to rule the state.