This Article is From Mar 14, 2017

Disquiet In Goa Congress Over Digvijaya Singh's 'Mismanagement'

Congress lawmakers blamed party leaders for not doing enough to form the government in Goa. (File photo)


  • Digvijaya Singh was the Congress' in-charge for the Goa election
  • Manohar Parrikar will take oath as Goa Chief Minister today
  • Congress has filed a plea at the Supreme Court to stop his oath ceremony
Panaji: One day after Goa Governor Mridula Sinha invited the BJP to form the government, senior Congress leaders are coming under attack from some of its prominent lawmakers who are angry that their leaders weren't as quick as the BJP to negotiate support from smaller parties and stake claim despite its higher numbers.

The Congress had emerged as the single largest party with 17 legislators and reportedly had the support from an independent in the 40-seat assembly. It was just three short of the majority mark of 21. But it was the BJP - which had just 13 legislators - that ended up with the invite.

On Monday evening, the Congress knocked on the Supreme Court's doors in Delhi to stop Manohar Parrikar - who quit as Defence Minister earlier in the day - from taking oath on Tuesday evening. The petition has argued that the Governor should not have invited the BJP, but the Congress by virtue of the mandate to the party.

Back in Goa, state Congress leaders are not too sure if it is too late.

One of the more vocal critics of the party leadership was the Congress leader Vishwajit P Rane, the leader of opposition in the outgoing Goa assembly who many believed was in the running for the chief minister's job.
digvijaya singh

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh has accused the BJP of buying votes

On their target was the Congress general secretary and the party's in-charge for Goa, Digvijaya Singh, who accused the BJP of buying support.

"Money power has won over people's power. I apologise to the people of Goa as we couldn't muster the support to form the government," Mr Singh tweeted. Former Union Minister P Chidambaram had also accused the BJP of stealing the elections.

Mr Rane felt Congress party leaders had to take the blame.

 "I think there was total mismanagement by the leadership," Mr Rane told NDTV, asserting that the people had given the Congress mandate to form the government but lost the opportunity "because of foolishness of our leaders".

Mr Rane, who had stormed out of the Congress legislature meeting, hinted that the party shouldn't take him for granted. "There is a lot of pressure on me by all my MLAs supporting me to act but I am only holding back because of my leader Mrs Sonia Gandhi," he said.

Is he thinking about quitting the party?

"A lot of thoughts are coming in my mind. Sometimes I just feel that I am in the wrong party," said Mr Rane, also the son of Goa's five-time Chief Minister Pratapsinh Rane.

Some other legislators such as Jennifer Monserrate - who told journalists how the party leaders had let the opportunity to slip through its fingers - wished that its central leaders had worked as hard and efficiently as Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, the BJP's point person for the state.

It was Mr Gadkari who had overseen the BJP's legislature party meet that named Mr Parrikar as their leader after the BJP's former ally, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party or MGP, promised support of its three legislators on the condition that Mr Parrikar heads the government. Another regional party, Goa Forward, which also won three seats, also provided its support in writing on Sunday evening. Of the three Independents, two have also supported the BJP.