Having mustered the required numbers to prove majority on the floor of the House, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today took on the Congress party over what he termed as “wild allegations” levelled against the Bharatiya Janata Party.
“Wild allegations are being made, those with coloured glasses make those allegations,” Parrikar said while addressing a press conference after winning the trust vote with the support of 22 MLAs against 16 of the Congress.
Earlier today, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had alleged that the BJP had ‘stolen’ the government in Goa with the help of money power. "In Manipur and Goa, the BJP has used money to steal the government (from the Congress)," Rahul told reporters in Chandigarh after the swearing-in ceremony of Amarinder Singh as Punjab chief minister.
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However, Parrikar strongly countered these claims and said that the trust the legislators had posed in the BJP was voluntary. “We have proved before the people of India, we had support of 23 and we proved it on the floor of house. Everyone voluntarily came and voted, none of them were kept in a hotel room or secluded common place as was the case of opposition,” he said.
Parrikar also took on Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh who had flown in to Goa along with a raft of leaders to try and stitch together an alliance to win the trust vote that was ordered by the Supreme Court today.
“It (Cong leaders coming to Goa) was only hype possibly because there was a demand that was coming that Digvijaya step down as Gen secretary,” he said, adding, “Digvijaya's claims that they have numbers have been debunked. Right from the beginning, they didn’t have numbers.”
Taking a dig at Digvijaya who has been at the receiving end of the local Congress leaders who have blamed him for ‘mismanagement’ leading to the Congress’ lost opportunity to form government despite ending up with the maximum numbers, Parrikar said: “This is what happens when you come to Goa to party and not to work.”
In the polls held last month, the BJP ended with 13 seats – four behind the Congress’ tally of 17. However, some quick and efficient moves by the BJP resulted in the saffron party managing the support of three MLAs each of the Goa Forward Party and the Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party, as well as three independents. That gave the BJP 22 to the Congress party's 17 seats.
With the Speaker also supporting the BJP coalition, Parrikar won the trust vote 23 to 16. Rebel Congress MLA Vishwajeet Rane was missing from the trust vote and later tendered his resignation from the party as well as the Goa Legislative Assembly.