10-day monsoon session of Goa Legislative Assembly from tomorrow

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Panaji, Aug 17 (UNI) The monsoon session of Goa legislative assembly to pass the budget for the fiscal year 2008-09 begins here tomorrow amid veiled threat to the stability of the 15-month old Congress-led coalition government headed by Chief Minister Digambar Kamat.

The skills of Mr Kamat in handling the budget session as the new finance and law minister for the first time will be put to test as he took over the portfolios following the resignation of Dayanand Narvekar as Finance Minister on August 5 to accommodate Atanasio (Babush) Monserrate as Education Minister in the Cabinet in a political coup at the instance of the Congress high command.

The session, with Mr Kamat as new Finance Minister, is scheduled to transact about 515 starred and 320 unstarred questions, about eight government amendment bills and the Goa Appropriation Bill besides ten private member resolutions mooted by the main BJP opposition.

In a bid to ward off any attempt to defeat the government by forces from within, the Congress had issued a whip directing all its members to attend the session and vote in favour of all government bills without fail.

This was done in the light of induction of unattached Taleigao legislator Atanasio (Babush) Monserrate into the Cabinet following forced resignation of his pregnant rival Finance Minister Narvekar at the insistence of the Congress high command on August 5.

Observers suspect the supporters of Mr Narvekar, emboldened with the reprieve the Bombay High Court in Goa in suspending the operation of criminal charges against him in the infamous cricket ticket gate scam, are grouping together to foment trouble during the budget session.

Added to this was the decision of the disgruntled three-member NCP coalition partner mincing no words in declaring that it would ''rethink'' of its future course of action with the Congress if it failed to meet its demand to accommodate its office bearers in the government positions.

It might be recalled that the group of six (G-6) consisting of NCP, two-member MGP and independent member (Health Minister) besides Babush created a situation threatening the stability of the government in the last two sessions causing panic.

The Congress high command, which does not like the situation to repeat this time, had forced Mr Narvekar to resign from the Cabinet to accommodate Babush on the alibi that Mr Narvekar was chargesheeted in the cricket ticket scam even as Babush was facing worse criminal charges including attacking Panjim police station and its police on February 19 night.


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