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Congress stakes claim to form govt in Goa, BJP holds urgent meeting

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Panaji, Mar 16: The Congress on Saturday staked a claim to form the government and wrote to Governor urging dismissal of the BJP-led government in the coastal state. The Congress, in the letter to Governor, asserted that it was the 'single largest party' in the state, adding that the current Manohar Parrikar led government is in 'minority'.

Currently, the strength of the Goa legislative assembly stands at 37 with 14 MLAs of Congress, 13 of BJP, three each of Goa Forward Party and MGP, three independents and a lone NCP MLA.

File photo of Goa Assembly

The Congress was the single largest party with 17 MLAs when the election results were declared in February 2017. But since then, three Congress MLAs joined the BJP.

"Consequent upon the sad demise of Francis D' Souza, MLA who was belonging to the BJP, it is humbly submitted that the incumbent BJP-led State government under the leadership of Shri Manohar Parrikar which has long lost the trust of the people has also lost the strength of the House. Also we anticipate that the numbers of the BJP may further dwindle thus not allowing such a party in minority to continue even for a moment," the letter to the Governor said.

The vacancies in the Goa Assembly were created following the demise of Mapusa MLA and former deputy chief minister Francis D' Souza last month, and after Mandrem MLA Dayanand Sopte and Shiroda MLA Subhash Shirodkar quit Congress to join BJP.

[Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar discharged from hospital]

The claim to form the government comes at a time when reports have indicated that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's health has taken a turn for the worse. Besides the ailing Parrikar, another BJP MLA Pandurang Madkaikar is unwell and hasn't been seen since he suffered a stroke in June last year, said reports.

Here is the Goa Congress' letter to the Governor:

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