Goa Floor Test Live updates: Even though BJP finished with 13 seats in the assembly elections, 4 short of Congress' tally of 17, Parrikar claimed support of 22 legislators, two more than the halfway mark in the 40-member Assembly.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in Goa, headed by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has proved majority in the state assembly today after the former Defence Minister took oath on Tuesday evening in the presence of BJP chief Amit Shah and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. Even though BJP finished with 13 seats in the assembly elections, 4 short of Congress’ tally of 17, Parrikar claimed support of 22 legislators, two more than the halfway mark in the 40-member Assembly. As it turned out, 23 MLAs including NCP’s Churchill Alemao stood in support of BJP and Manohar Parrikar.
Here are the live updates from Goa floor test:
1:30 PM: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi wishes that BJP stays in power for longer so that Congress gets the majority in the next election. On the other hand, senior party leader Mani Shankar Aiyar believes Congress is losing its status in Indian politics.
1:15 PM: In Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh took oath as the Chief Minister while Navjot Singh Sidhu was drafted into the cabinet:
1:00 PM: Congress leader Vishwajeet Rane who walked out of the assembly says Congress is solely responsible for destroying the mandate given by the people of Goa.
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) March 16, 2017
12:47 PM: Responding to the question whether there will be a deputy Chief Minister in Goa, Manohar Parrikar says, “It is a government of coalition and decision in this regard will be taken by the coalition.”
— News18 (@CNNnews18) March 16, 2017
12:45 PM: “There are wild allegations being made with coloured glasses. As you saw, everyone voluntarily came and voted. Nobody was kept in a hotel or secluded place,” says Manohar Parrikar.
12:39 PM: Parrikar confirms that there will be a cabinet meeting tomorrow where portfolios of Ministers will be decided. He added that he was waiting for the vote of confidence to be passed before passing the importance files.
12:36 PM: Manohar Parrikar says, “everything was transparent in front of the media. As we promised we have proved the support debunking Digvijay Singh’s claims. Congress never had the numbers and was only creating a hype.”
12:34 PM: “Once the results are out and it is clear that no party has got the majority, anyone is free to form a post-party alliance,” says Manohar Parrikar. He refused to comment over Congress leader Vishwajeet Rane who staged a walk off.
12:32 PM: 16 Congress MLAs opposed Manohar Parrikar while 22 MLAs were in support. In the end, NCP’s Churchill Alemao who had said that he will support whichever party will come in support also voted in favour of Manohar Parikkar.
12:28 PM: 23 MLAs supported Manohar Parrikar. He had claimed the support of 22 MLAs but one NCP MLA also stood in his support. The voting was conducted peacefully unlike in Tamil Nadu.
12:26 PM: Manohar Parrikar has cleared the floor test. He got a clear majority as only 16 Congress members stood up against him.
12:23 PM: The floor test has begun, the speaker calls for a division of vote.
12:18 PM: Goa Congress President Luizinho Faleiro has taken the oath. He is believed to play an important role in this year’s election. Since he doesn’t get along well with the Goa Forward Party leader Vijai Sardesai, the possible alliance between the two parties was not formed. However, both the leaders have denied these rumours.
12:09 PM: The oath-taking ceremony is almost over now and the floor test will begin shortly. An interesting insight, Congress MLA Vishwajeet Rane who has been in the news in last few days for his leadership remarks is missing after his swearing-in. That’s interesting for sure!
12:02 PM: Things are getting interesting in the Goa assembly. Ravi Naik while walking to the podium asked Manohar Parrikar, “All is well?” That statement left everyone baffled! Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi continues to accuse BJP of horse trading:
— ANI (@ANI_news) March 16, 2017
11:47 AM: The vote of confidence has begun in the Goa Assembly after the oath-taking ceremony of MLAs. Dayanand Sopte who defeated BJP chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar in Mandrem was the first one to take the oath.
11:40 AM: Here is an image from the Goa Assembly where the floor test is about to begin:
11:33 AM: The Goa assembly session begins as all the MLAs are now seated. The floor test will begin soon. Manohar Parrikar has claimed the support of 22 MLAs.
11:28 AM: The Goa Forward Party leader Vijay Sardesai says there was no question of supporting Congress. “No question of being approached by the Congress Party. We’re Goans and we keep our word. I supported the BJP because our agenda can be only fulfilled by stable government,” said Sardesai before the floor test.
11:22 AM: Rahul Gandhi has once again attacked BJP and PM Modi in Chandigarh. He says, “BJP has used money in Goa and Manipur to form the government.”
11:10 AM: The MLAs are currently taking the oath before the start of one-day special session in Goa. The floor test will begin at 11:30 AM after all the 40 MLAs have taken the oath.
11:00 AM: The floor test is about to begin shortly. Meanwhile, Amarinder Singh has taken oath as the new Punjab Chief Minister along with his council of Ministers in the presence of Congress vice -president Rahul Gandhi and former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
10:45 AM: Congress leader Vishwajeet Rane who has been in the news for questioning the leadership within the party says he is going to vote for Congress. “As of now, I am with Congress party. I am going to vote for Congress,” he said while going into the assembly.
10:23 AM: Manohar Parrikar is a confident man right now. After his oath-taking ceremony he said, “Those people who have practised (in the past of bribing MLAs to join their party) are making such baseless allegations. When you don yellow sunglasses, the whole world looks yellow. This is the same situation with them (the opposition party).”
10:04 AM: The floor test is scheduled to begin at 11 am. Last month, when we had a floor test in Tamil Nadu, it ended with a lot of drama. DMK’s working President MK Stalin walked out of the assembly with a torn shirt. Today’s session will begin after the pro-tem speaker swearing-in all the 40 MLAs.
9:50 AM: An image of Manohar Parrikar arriving for the floor test:
9:40 AM: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has reached the state assembly to attend the special session which is being organised for the floor test. He will have to prove the majority today.
9:30 AM: All is not good in Goa as a large group of citizens, NGOs and activists have called for a protest meeting this evening at the Lohia Maidan in Margao. They will be protesting against BJP for not respecting people’s mandate and cobbling up a majority with smaller political parties in the state.