- Goa MLAs want Manohar Parrikar as Chief Minister says Nitin Gadkari
- BJP was seven seats short in Goa, had placed No 2
- BJP wins support of small regional parties this evening
The ruling BJP placed second in the elections winning 13 of the state's 40 seats but has garnered the support of regional parties who have decided to back it given Mr Parrikar takes over as Chief Minister. The Congress won 17, three short of the majority mark of 21.
Mr Parrikar with Union Minister Nitin Gadkari held a long meeting on Sunday evening at a five-star hotel where the BJP efficiently collected the additional seven seats it needs from small regional parties. Mr Parrikar then met with Governor Mridula Sinha to stake claim and was invited to form the government. He will have to prove his majority in the assembly within 15 days of swearing in as Chief Minister.
BJP legislators also met on Sunday morning and unanimously said they want Mr Parrikar to give up his job as Defence Minister to head their government.
So who forms the government depended heavily on regional parties. The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party or MGP is a former ally of the BJP (it opted out of the partnership right before the election). It won three seats and has said it will support the BJP if Mr Parrikar is selected by his party as head of the government.
Another regional party Goa Forward, which also won three seats, has provided its support in writing at the meeting on Sunday evening.
Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar lost both the constituencies he fought - a sign, the Congress says, of the people's firm rejection of the BJP.
Mr Parrikar, after taking over as Chief Minister, will have to get elected to the Goa legislature within six months. He will also have to prove his majority in the legislature.
The Congress's Digvijaya Singh has accused the BJP of wooing defections and horse-trading. But he said that if the Congress does not get enough written support to hit 21 seats, it would "not like" to try and form the government.