Goa Legislative Assembly today congratulated Ram Nath Kovind on being elected as India’s President. BJP member Glen Ticlo moved a motion on the floor of the House during the ongoing monsoon session, for congratulating Kovind. The motion was supported by all the members, including the opposition benches. “There is a link of Kovindji to Goa. When he was in Goa to meet the legislators, he told me that he is operating his office from the bungalow in Delhi which was allotted to me as the defence minister,” Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said speaking on the motion. Parrikar had in March this year resigned as the defence minister. He was later sworn-in as the chief minister of Goa after the BJP stitched up a coalition to form a government in the state. The chief minister today thanked Kovind for visiting Goa and interacting with the legislators. “His visit to Goa made a difference. That may be the reason why some opposition MLAs also voted for him. They (opposition) must have felt that Kovind gave them respect by coming to Goa to campaign,” Parrikar said.
The BJP leader pointed out that the opposition’s presidential candidate, Meira Kumar, had invited Congress legislators from Goa to meet her in Mumbai during the campaigning. After the results of the presidential election were announced yesterday, it was found that at least three out of the 16 Congress MLAs in Goa voted for Kovind whereas two votes were found invalid. Hailing Kovind, Parrikar termed him as a studious person who has an impressive knowledge of law. “Kovindji is a person suitable for the post of the president of India,” he said. Speaking on the motion, Vijai Sardesai (of Goa Forward Party) said that the selection of candidate by NDA itself made a difference. “Even Congress legislators voted for him,” he said.
Sardesai, whose party is an alliance partner in the state government, said the voting pattern from Goa in the presidential poll indicates that a group of Congress legislators is willing to switch over to the ruling side in the state. “The results should lay to rest any speculation about instability in the Manohar Parrikar-led government. In fact, there is a camp in Congress which is willing to join us,” he claimed. “The government is absolutely stable,” Sardesai said.