- Manohar Parrikar resigns as Defence Minister to be Goa Chief Minister
- In Rajya Sabha farewell speech, he takes a dig at Congress for losing Goa
- BJP got fewer seats than Congress but has formed government with allies
As he bid farewell to the Rajya Sabha today, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar thanked member of the House and Congress leader Digvijaya Singh for failing to install a Congress government in the state despite the party winning the most seats in the assembly elections.
Mr Parrikar, who resigned as the country's Defence Minister to return to his home state earlier this month, visited the Rajya Sabha during Zero Hour.
"I express my thanks to the Chairman, Deputy Chairman and members of this house for their support during my tenure as the Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister) and invite them to Goa whenever they want to come," he said.
Then, Mr Parrikar added, "My special thanks to honourable member Digvijaya Singh, who happened to be in Goa but did nothing so that I could form the government." Annoyed Congress lawmakers rushed to the Rajya Sabha Chairman's podium to protest.
In election results announced earlier this month, no party won a majority in Goa. The BJP, which won fewer seats than the Congress, moved swiftly to enlist the support of smaller regional parties and stalked claim to form government. The allies came on board on the condition that the BJP brought Manohar Parrikar back from the centre.
The Congress did not just fail to challenge Mr Parrikar on the floor of house, it dramatically lost Vishwajt Rane, a senior state leader, who walked out of the state assembly just before the trust vote and resigned. Another Congress MLA quit later. They have blamed Digvijaya Singh for the party failing to form government in Goa despite winning the most seats.
Digvijaya Singh has alleged that Goa Governor Mridula Sinha should not have invited the BJP to form government without consulting the Congress as single largest party in Goa, and had moved a motion in the Rajya Sabha to discuss her conduct. It has not been taken up yet.
Manohar Parrikar had resigned as Goa chief minister in 2014 to come to the Centre as Defence Minister and a Rajya Sabha MP. Since he did not contest this year's Goa polls, he will now have to be elected from an assembly seat in the state within six months.
(with inputs from IANS)