Licking its wounds after outwitted by the BJP in the race to power after the Assembly polls, the Congress in Goa today said it was eager to “topple” the BJP-led government in collaboration with “other parties”, but without “compromising” on its core principles. The Congress, which emerged as the single-largest party winning 17 seats in the 40-member house, four more than the BJP, had to sit in the opposition after the saffron party under Manohar Parrikar stitched up a rainbow coalition comprising the Goa Forward Party (GFP), the Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and three Independents.
The Congress, however, seems to have not reconciled to the political reality despite suffering the humiliation at the hands of its arch rival, which stole a march over it and installed the government in March. “The Congress will make all attempts to form the government, but so far there are no such intimations coming from the coalition members in the government,” AlCC Secretary Girish Chodankar told reporters when asked if his party has given up hopes of making a fresh bid to capture power.
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He said the Congress will “not compromise” on its policies, principles and promises which it had made to the people during the polls held in February. “The Congress is not desperate to form the government by compromising on its policies, but is definitely desperate to topple the ruling BJP-led coalition,” the Congress leader said without elaborating. In the assembly polls held on 40 seats in February this year, the BJP won 13 seats, the Congress 17, the MGP and the GFP three each, Independents 3 and NCP 1.
In the 40-member House, the current strength of which stood 38 following the resignations of a BJP MLA and a Congress MLA, the BJP has 12 members, the Congress 16, the MGP 3, the GFP 3, the NCP one, besides the three independent legislators. Panaji MLA Siddharth Kuncalienkar (BJP) resigned in May, apparently to vacate the seat for Parrikar who is currently not a member of the House, whereas the Congress’ Vishwajit Rane quit after switching over to the BJP. Rane is currently Health Minister in the Parrikar cabinet.
When contacted, the state BJP president Vinay Tendulkar said the government is safe. “No amount of attempts to destabilise our government will wok. All allies are firmly together,” he told PTI.