Kamat meets Sonia Gandhi over Goa crisis


New Delhi : Desperate to save his seven-month-old government after four legislators withdrew support reducing it to a minority, Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat Friday evening met Congress president Sonia Gandhi to discuss the crisis.

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Kamat met the Congress chief along with All India Congress Committee general secretary B.K. Hariprasad and state unit Congress chief Francisco Sardinha.

“We briefed her about the political situation in Goa. Now we will talk to Nationalist Congress Party leaders and try to find a solution,” Kamat told reporters after the meeting.

Kamat, who arrived in the capital to talk to the central leadership, told reporters earlier, “god will save my government”.

Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi accused the “SEZ lobby” in the state of creating the political crisis.

“What is unconstitutional, illegal, immoral is the blatant way in which every five months a government is sought to be destabilised,” Singhvi said.

The Congress’ ally in the state, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), also expressed confidence that the government would survive. “The Goa government will survive. We will find a solution soon,” NCP leader and Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said here.

According to Patel, the NCP leaders were talking to the party’s legislators who had announced they would withdraw their support to the Kamat government. He also said the MLAs did not consult the party leadership before pulling out of the government.

The NCP MLAs said in Panaji that they would form an alternate government in Goa.

The Congress received a reprieve as state Governor S.C. Jamir prorogued the Goa legislative assembly that was to meet at 2.30 p.m. Thursday. The move significantly came hours before the assembly was to take up the crucial Appropriation Bill. There was a threat of the bill falling through, which would have led to the fall of the government.

The Congress-led coalition government became a minority Thursday after three NCP MLAs and an independent legislator Vishwajit Rane, son of former Congress chief minister Pratapsing Rane, withdrew support to it.

Rane and United Goans Democratic Party MLA Atanasio Monseratte, who extends issue-based support to the Kamat government, were targeting Finance Minister Dayanand Narvekar over the proposed Rajiv Gandhi IT Habitat in the state.

Monseratte was opposing the IT habitat while the finance minister was keen on it.

In the 40-member Goa assembly, the ruling coalition of the Congress, NCP, Save Goa Front and independents has 23 MLAs. The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 14 legislators and the Maharashtra Gomantak Party has two.