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BJP has created an artificial majority in Goa says Congress

By Anuj Cariappa

New Delhi, Mar 19: The Congress accused the BJP of creating an "artificial majority" in Goa at the directions of the Centre, and urged Governor Mridula Sinha to invite the opposition party to form a government as it was the single largest party.

BJP has created an artificial majority in Goa says Congress

The coastal state is in a politically fluid situation after the death of BJP Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday. While the Congress has staked claim to form the next government, the BJP is also meeting its allies to decide on Parrikar's successor.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said in New Delhi, "I will like to attract the attention of whole country as well as the media that democracy should be established (in Goa). And governors, who sit on the position of a judge, should take correct decision.

"The one who has a majority should form a government. It is not right for democracy if artificial majority is created as per the directions of central government," he told a press conference.

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On Governor Sinha not responding to the Congress' demand for allowing it to form a government in the state, Azad said, "The governor should work as a governor and not for a party."

He also referred to the last Assembly elections in the state and mentioned that the Congress emerged as the single largest party and tried form a government.

"What we tried before, we are trying again. When elections happened in Goa, the Congress emerged as the number one party. The BJP got fewer seats (than Congress). Now, the BJP's MLA count has gone down (further). BJP's MLA count is 11 and Congress's is 14. We have three MLAs more as compared to them," he told reporters.

Azad said among the other parties, the Goa Forward Party has three, the MGP has three, the NCP one and remaining three are independents and there is one speaker.

All the 14 Congress MLAs, led by the Leader of the Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar, went to Raj Bhawan and handed over a letter to Sinha, saying it was the single largest party in the Assembly and should be allowed to form the government.

"We are saddened by the chief minister's demise, but before his final rites are performed, a new government has to be formed...The governor has acknowledged that the Congress is the single largest party and she said she will get back to us," Kavlekar told reporters here.

The opposition party had earlier also written to Sinha, staking claim to form the government on Friday and then again on Sunday.

Union minister and BJP leader Nitin Gadkari is also in Goa to try and find a candidate for the post but a consensus eluded his party and its allies.

Gadkari said in Panaji the BJP had zeroed in on the next CM candidate but its allies were yet to get on board. He, however, did not reveal who the BJP had chosen.

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