In Politically Fragile Goa, Congress Takes Aim At Manohar Parrikar's MLA Election

There are speculations, some even bordering on whether the Congress is attempting a "coup" on Manohar Parrikar who will have to contest an election to become a legislator in September to cement his position as the Chief Minister of the state.

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In Politically Fragile Goa, Congress Takes Aim At Manohar Parrikar's MLA Election

Congress sources say Manohar Parrikar is worried about his prospects of safe election from Panaji.

Panaji:  A flurry of political activity in Goa, a state with 40 assembly seats, has triggered fresh reports of political uncertainty.

There are speculations, some even bordering on whether the Congress is attempting a "coup" on Manohar Parrikar who will have to contest an election to become a legislator in September to cement his position as the Chief Minister of the state.

After the sacking of the Congress in-charge of Goa, Digvijaya Singh, who was blamed for botching up the Congress's prospect of forming a government in the state, the new in-charge, A Chellakumar, is now trying to give Goa a fresh shot.

Sources say that Mr Chellakumar camped in Goa for five days and was in touch with some legislators to see how the party that has 15 MLAs and is five short of the government formation mark could be back in the saddle.

When asked about these reports of an attempted coup, Mr Chellakumar said "Goa is a small state where everyone is in touch with everyone." He also added that "Goans voted against the BJP in 26 seats so it was a vote against Manohar Parrikar."

Congress sources say that Mr Parrikar is worried about his prospects of a safe election from Panaji hence the BJP is giving wind to rumours of the Congress trying to orchestrate a coup.

There's also intense speculation that the three MLAs of current BJP-led coalition partner "Goa Forward" could abandon the BJP - a party it was ideologically opposed to before the elections. This forced "Goa Forward's" Vijay Sardesai to take to Facebook Live and clarify that there were no such plans. Trashing the reports, he told NDTV that he said "We are getting the respect in the government. Our positions on issues are becoming policies and it is because of the Goa Forward that Manohar Parrikar is chief minister."

The BJP's Goa General Secretary Sadanand Tanavde told NDTV that "Manohar Parrikar is a strong leader and will easily win in the elections that are expected to take place in September. The Congress's A Chellakumar is making false claims that the party is in touch with some MLAs because he is struggling to keep his flock together."

The Congress had won 17 of the state's 40 seats in the recently concluded assembly elections. But as the party bickered over who would be Chief Minister, the BJP, which won four seats less, stitched together a coalition with regional parties and Independent legislators. Because the potential allies wanted Manohar Parrikar - who till then was the Union Defence Minister - to lead the government, he was shifted back to Goa. The miffed Congress had cried foul, saying it should have been given change to form the government.

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