BJP coalition Govt. finalised

SANDESH PRABHUDESAI, PANAJI | 02 June 2002 23:27 IST

Chief minister Manohar Parrikar is all set to form a Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government with two regional parties - the United Goans Democratic Party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, besides one independent.

He is expected to be sworn in tomorrow morning.

While confirming the news, local BJP leader and MP Shripad Naik said they are also trying for Dr Wilfred de Souza, the sole legislator of the Nationalist Congress Party. He is believed to have been offered speaker's post.

After holding confabulations with the two regional outfits, Parrikar today afternoon rushed to the Raj Bhavan, along with two legislators each of the UGDP and the MGP and the independent MLA, to formally communicate to him the support they have rendered.

The coalition government will thus have a majority of 22 in the 40-member House, as the BJP has a strength of 17, the largest single party. The Congress, on the other hand, has only 16.

The coalition government in Goa became inevitable with the state Assembly elections held on 30 May throwing a hung Assembly once again.

According to Naik, the strength could go up if Dr de Souza also supports the coalition government. The BJP however is still trying to woo the third UGDP legislator Mathany Saldhana, who is hesitating to join the saffron-led coalition.

Sudin Dhawalikar and Pandurang Madkaikar of the MGP and Mickky Pacheco and Babush Monseratte of the UGDP will participate in the government. Independent MLA Philip Neri Rodrigues, who was a minister in the erstwhile BJP government, will also be part of the cabinet.

Parrikar, who preferred to meet his party legislators after returning from the Raj Bhavan, is meeting the media at 7 pm.


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