Goa Assembly to be Dissolved Soon?

No sooner the Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar arrived on the scene after his treatment from AIIMS, Delhi than the allied parties use the situation for their own end.

A minister of alliance partner of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has warned it against dissolving the state assembly. A day after Parrikar’s return, Goa Forward Party leader and minister Vijay Sardesai released a video statement asking the BJP to keep its ‘word’ to ensure that the government lasts the full term of five years.

Sardesai’s comments come at a time when opposition Congress has already staked claim to form the next government. Parriakr, who returned to Panaji on Sunday, was being treated for a pancreatic ailment at the Delhi hospital. Although doctors have advised him rest for a week, the CM has started interacting with his family members.

In the video statement, Sardesai said, “The onus is on them (the BJP) and they will have to fulfil their commitment that this government will complete its full term and get the continued support of the Central government as was seen in the past.”  He added that BJP chief Amit Shah had assured him that the BJP national leadership was not interested in having a mid-term poll or to dissolve the assembly.

He added, “As such, when our commitment is there and their commitment is also there, the onus of this government continuing for the full five-year term lies with the central BJP leadership.”

Parrikar’s leadership in the state was one of the major conditions for the coalition partners – Goa Forward Party, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and three independents – to ally with the BJP to form the government.

Fresh Elections or New Government; Congress to Take Advantage of Parrikar’s Failing Health

Due to the prolonged illness of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and his inability to continue his service has paved the way for the dissolution of the existing BJP led coalition government in Goa.

However, on Monday Congress leader Mr. Kavlekar along with his 15 other MLA’s grasped the opportunity and submitted a proposal in a letter to Governor Mridula Sinha’s office. In the letter “We have requested the Governor through our letter that the Assembly should not be dissolved and fresh election forced on the State. We have also asked her not to impose President’s Rule or keep the House in suspended animation. People have elected us for five years. Pushing for an election after a mere 18 months is not good for anybody,” Mr. Kavlekar said.

BJP on the other is looking for holding fresh elections in the state. Parikkar not only enabled the BJP’s growth and success in an unlikely state (think of its cultural roots and plural religious mix) but was the reason the party could form the government at all in 2017 despite losing its majority and coming second. Smaller parties and independents were willing to back the nimble-footed and resourceful BJP, while the Congress was caught napping despite being the single largest party, but on one condition: Parikkar’s return to the state from Delhi. This suited the then defence minister, who was always itching to get back home.

As Parikkar’s health remains fragile, Goa will continue to be politically turbulent. From the continuation of a government with a leader who is unwell to a change in power equations, from President’s Rule to early elections, all options are on the cards. But the decision will finally boil down as much to the machinations in Panjim as to the state of a man in a room in Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences. Sometimes then, leaders do determine the fate of the organisation.