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Section within BJP in touch with Congress, claims Kavalekar

Panjim: As the leadership muddle continues to haunt the BJP-led coalition, Congress on Wednesday claimed there is discontent in the ruling dispensation as to who will head the alliance in the absence of ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Speaking to media persons, Leader of the Opposition Chandrakant Kavalekar said that the political situation favours Congress. “You have seen how BJP observers came down to Goa and met their legislators, former MLAs and alliance partners over the current political situation. They are also talking of inviting a leader from an alliance party to head the government,” he said. “This has created a bitter situation as allowing one alliance partner to head the coalition will upset another one,” Kavalekar said.

He claimed that a section within the BJP is upset with the possibility of a leader being imported from outside and is in touch with the Congress to join them. “We need not go with the proposal of support or joining to anyone. In fact they are coming to us with proposals,” the Congress leader said.

Congress on Tuesday had approached Governor Dr Mridula Sinha demanding that the government be dismissed and they be given an opportunity to prove the majority.

Kavalekar said that the party is waiting for a response from Raj Bhavan, which is expected in the next three to four days. “We have the required numbers with us. I am not going to tell you with whom we are in discussion with. But we want 21 numbers and we have more than that,” he said. Congress currently has 16 MLAs in the 40-member Assembly.

Speaking on the numbers, senior party leader Ramakant Khalap said the BJP-led alliance are down to 19 in the Assembly as the Chief Minister and two ministers – Francis D’Souza and Pandurang Madkaikar – are admitted in different hospitals.

“The effective strength of the House today is 37 of which one is a Speaker and he has no right to vote on the floor of the House, if there is motion for trust on the government,” Khalap said.

The Congress leader said that the BJP is left with only 10 MLAs in the House supported by nine alliance partners. [H]

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