Goa government’s fate to be decided Monday


Panaji : The week starting Monday will decide if Goa will stay with the Congress, go over to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or come under president's rule.

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While the BJP-led alliance has better chances of coming to power, all other possibilities are also being speculated here.

Currently, the hastily cobbled Goa Democratic Alliance (GDA) led by BJP (14 legislators) has the Save Goa Front and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (2 each), United Goans Democratic Party (1) and an independent.

With this, GDA's strength adds up to 20 in the house of 40, which could dip to 39 when Congress legislator Victoria Fernandes' resignation is accepted. This slender majority could be enough to overtake the Congress.

Political developments Thursday saw the Congress-led government reduced to a minority after its coalition partner, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, and an independent legislator, Anil Salgaocar, withdrew their support.

The Digambar Kamat-led Congress government was also hit when its own lone woman MLA, Victoria Fernandes, said she was resigning from the assembly as well as the Congress.

Beleaguered Chief Minister Kamat claims he still holds the ace while BJP leader and former chief minister Manohar Parrikar has voiced confidence of coming to power.

Last week was one of intense politicking, which took defections – for which Goa has been notorious since 1990 – to a new feverish pitch.

Parrikar has requested the governor to direct Speaker Pratapsingh Rane, a Congressman, to conduct a floor test Monday and depute an impartial observer to see that the house proceedings are run fairly.

A no confidence motion against the speaker and Deputy Speaker Mauvin Godinho was also forwarded to the governor late Friday.

Till Friday, the speaker had not accepted Fernandes' resignation on the grounds that she was supposed to hand over the papers in person so that any duress was ruled out.

The one possibility for this is that the Congress may be wanting to convince her to withdraw her resignation with the incentive that she would not face disqualification.

The Congress also reportedly met SGF chief Churchill Alemao, and is said to have offered him the deputy chief minister's post, which he has apparently refused.

Goans are disgusted with the political defections.

Panaji parish priest Father Antimo Gomes called on the governor to impose president's rule and urged people to stage protests outside the assembly.

The Communist Part of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has also been very critical of the political happenings.

Former legislator from Cortalim and social activist Mathany Saldanha expressed displeasure over the "money power" and "opportunism" displayed by the factions participating in this drama.

Goa, for all its literacy and prosperity, suffers from deficiency in the quality of governance. It has the dubious distinction of a number of legislators resigning from their seats and re-contesting to circumvent the anti-defection laws.