Congress Legislators Are Messaging Me, Manohar Parrikar Tells NDTV

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Manohar Parrikar will have to prove his majority in the 40-member Assembly by Thursday.


Panaji: 

Highlights

  1. Congress leaders sending me messages to join: Parrikar
  2. Rejects charges that BJP gave out money to stitch support
  3. Parrikar took oath as Goa chief minister, has support of 22 legislators
Confident of the coalition in Goa with the support of three regional parties and independent candidates, BJP leader and Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar hinted in an exclusive interview to NDTV that Congress legislators in the state might cross-over to BJP soon. Mr Parrikar said that he has received messages from Congress legislators who want to switch over to BJP as they are "frustrated" with their leaders.

"I can't stop anyone from sending me messages. I'm not interested but I can't stop people from messaging that they are interested in resigning and joining (BJP)," Mr Parrikar said.

"Even now, they (Congress) are not able to decide on their leader (Chief Ministerial candidate). They are fighting among themselves and there are talks of resignations in the Congress. It is my morality that has stopped me from taking people from them who are on the verge of resigning because of frustration because of their leaders who are holding the party to ransom," he added.

As BJP staked claim, the Congress took the matter to the Supreme Court calling it unconstitutional. The Congress claimed that since they won maximum seats - 17 - in the Assembly elections, they should be given the first chance to form the government in the state.
 
manohar parrikar oath pti

Manohar Parrikar taking oath as Goa Chief Minister at a swearing-in ceremony in Panaji. (PTI Photo)

But the Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stay the swearing in of Mr Parrikar who had the support of 13 of BJP's own MLAs along with the support of nine other MLAs. It said Mr Parrikar will have to prove his majority in the 40-member Assembly by Thursday.

This evening, the BJP said that one Nationalist Congress Party legislator, all three independent legislators and three legislators each from Goa Forward (GF) party and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (GMP) are supporting the party.

Mr Parrikar denied the accusation that the BJP had used monetary incentives to bring these candidates on its side.

"Only people who deal in money can talk about money. I have my reputation to guard. I don't deal in money. Even in Delhi, as the Defence Minister, one thing I can take credit for is that during my tenure there were no agents and kickbacks," he said.

Mr Parrikar, who took oath as the state's chief minister for the fourth time today, said, that the legislators are supporting BJP only on the condition if he heads the state. "They trust that if I come as a Chief Minister, I will be able to manage the coalition as I have three earlier experiences where I have managed a coalition even after 21 seats to myself," he added.

He stressed that in his previous terms as chief minister, he had better finances and improved tax collections and could manage different political setups despite differences.


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