When Nitin Gadkari worked whole night to ensure BJP’s third Goa term

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Panaji | Updated: Mar 16, 2017 8:37 PM

What followed was a sleepless night for Nitin Gadkari and the prospective alliance partners of the BJP who promised support but with a rider.

Union minister Nitin Gadkari. (PTI)

Hectic parleys for government formation in Goa began soon after results started pouring in, with Union minister and BJP leader Nitin Gadkari getting into action on party president Amit Shah’s insistence. The BJP, which was faced with anti-incumbency factor in the state, had managed to win just 13 seats in the 40-member Assembly in the coastal state but still staked claim to form government, even as the Congress bagged 17 seats. “When the results came, the party chief (Amit Shah) called me up and asked me to meet him. I offered to come at his place rather than he visiting and we decided to meet at his residence in 30-45 minutes.
“It was 7 PM. We discussed the political situation of Goa in detail. Our strength was only 13. I told him that we do not have the support which we were expecting. He told me that we have to form the government (in Goa) and asked me to go to Goa immediately,” Gadkari, in-charge of BJP’s Goa unit, told reporters here.

Gadkari said he soon returned home before leaving for Goa without delaying any moment. “(The) delegation of leaders in Goa told me that it is not appropriate for (Manohar) Parrikar to come back to Goa by quitting from the Defence Ministry. I spoke to Parrikar as well,” Gadkari said. What followed was a sleepless night for Gadkari and the prospective alliance partners of the BJP who promised support but with a rider.

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“At 1.30 AM, MGP’s Sudin Dhawlikar met me. I know him for a long time, and we had a discussion. He pledged support for us. Vijai Sardesai of Goa Forward Party came to meet (me) next,” he said. “At 5 AM, they (MGP and GFP) put a condition that they will support BJP only if Parrikar is made the Chief Minister,” Gadkari said. “I woke up Amit Shah at 5.15 AM and conveyed this to him. I told him that I am not able to decide and asked for his advice. He said the Prime Minister is sleeping right now. He said he will call the PM at 7 AM. He said if Parrikar were to be sent to Goa, the (BJP) Parliamentary Board will have to decide and his (Parrikar’s) wish would also have to be considered,” he revealed.

At 8.30 AM, Shah called Gadkari saying he has spoken to the PM and others. “Everybody said that if we can form a government in Goa and if Parrikar is ready, we should do so,” said the Union Shipping Minister. The Manohar Parrikar government today proved its majority on the floor of the Goa Assembly by winning the trust vote with the support of 22 legislators in the 40-member house.

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