The Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) has blamed the AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh for the party’s failure to form government in the coastal state though it had emerged as the single largest party in the assembly elections held earlier this year. In its official newsletter, copies of which were issued to the media today, the GPCC narrated the sequence of events of March 12, a day before the BJP, which had finished second behind the Congress, staked its claim to form government. “Digvijaya Singh (who is incharge of the Congress affairs in Goa) advised that the Congress should not submit the letter staking its claim to form the government,” it stated.
As per the bulletin, Singh decided against submitting the Congress’ letter to Governor Mridula Sinha staking claim to form government.
“As the Congress MLAs met and unanimously resolved to stake claim with the governor, Singh decided that since it was the single largest party, the Congress need not submit the letter staking its claim, but should instead wait for the governor’s invite,” it stated. As the Congress party waited “expectantly” to hear from the governor on Singh’s advice, four mentors of the Goa Forward Party (GFP) remained engaged in discussions with the Congress in regard to offering their support, the newsletter said. “Ironically, just as the Congress was sealing an agreement with the Goa Forward’s mentors on the modalities of extending support, the GFP mentors expressed intense shock and embarrassment to learn that at that very moment, the MLAs of GFP and MGP (Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party) were already at the door of the governor to extend their support to the BJP government,” it stated. Neither did the governor call as Singh had insisted she would, nor was the promise of the GFP honoured, it said.
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. Though the Congress had emerged as the single largest party, the BJP went on to form the coalition government with the support of the MGP (3), the GFP (3), and three Independents. “While leaving Goa, Singh articulated his distress at the untrustworthiness of the Goan politicians and echoed what the Goa Congress and its blocks had been saying all along, admitting that a ‘gathbandhan’ (alliance) should not have been considered at all,” according to the newsletter. It stated that the AICC and GPCC should work together with a greater synergy and co-ordination in future. “The Congress party’s internal democracy should be respected at all levels in the decision-making process,” it stated. In the aftermath of the Goa fiasco, some Congress legislators, including Vishwajeet Rane, Jeniffer Monserratte, Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco to name a few, had blamed the party leadership for frittering away the opportunity to form government.