Panaji, Oct 17: The Congress is expected to face more setbacks in Goa in the coming days. On Tuesday, two Congress MLAs resigned from the party and joined the BJP.
Sources tell OneIndia that two more from the Congress are likely to quit the party in the next couple of days. However they would not be joining the BJP. They are in talks with the Goa Forward Party, which is an ally of the BJP in Goa.
The source said that talks have been on for a couple of weeks now. The two Congress leaders were waiting for their party to strike a deal with the GFP and form the government. However talks between the Congress and GFP constantly failed.
The two leaders felt disappointed about the talks failing as they had hoped to be part of the government after being out of power for a long time, the source also added. A major development in this regard could be expected in a couple of day and if this does happen, the Congress would see its number reducing further.
On Tuesday two MLAs of the Congress party, Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar joined the BJP on Tuesday. With this the strength of the Congress in the 40 member house has been reduced to 14, bringing it on par with the BJP. The resignation of the two MLAs has also brought the house strength down to 38 now.
The BJP has 14 MLAs while its alliance partners Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and Goa Forward Party (GFP) have three MLAs each. There are three independents who are also supporting the BJP led government.
Meanwhile there is talk regarding a replacement for Goa Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar, who has been unwell for sometime now. The BJP has however not taken any call on the issue relating to the replacement.
A BJP source said that Parrikar could continue as the CM for as long as he wants to. As of now there is no plan to replace Parrikar. Amidst this there was talk that Goa minister, Vishwajit Rane was in the running to become the next Chief Minister of Goa. Rane, the minister for health and women and child development was credited with bringing the two Congress MLAs to the BJP. The son of four time chief minister, Pratap Singh Rane, he was called to New Delhi for discussions.
How the numbers in the Goa Legislative Assembly stand:
- Total house strength: 38
- BJP- 14
- GFP- 3
- Independents- 3
- Speaker- 1
- Half way mark- 19
- BJP and allies: 23