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BJP ally MGP threatens to quit Goa govt, says 'conspiracy' may force it join hands with Congress

Panaji, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 26 March 2019, 10:28 PM
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant

The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), support of whose three MLAs is crucial for the stability of BJP-led government in Goa, on Tuesday said that a “conspiracy” was being hatched by “our rivals” that might force it to move out and align with the Congress to form a government.

The party has three MLAs in the 40-Member Goa Assembly and its senior leader and Marcaim legislator Sudin Dhavalikar is the deputy chief minister in the Pramod Sawant government.

Speaking to PTI, MGP president Dipak Dhavalikar alleged one of his party's officer-bearers was "made to issue a letter" to the governor and speaker declaring authority over entire legislative affairs of the outfit.          

Dhavalikar said the MGP central committee would meet Wednesday to chalk out its future course of action, which, he claimed, can decide the fate of the state government.

"There is a larger conspiracy under which one of our senior officer bearers, general secretary Lavoo Mamlatdar, was made to issue a letter to the governor and speaker, in which he stated that he was taking over the entire authority on legislative affairs of the party," Dhavalikar said.

He said his party was the state's oldest regional outfit but some sections were opposed to its growth.

Mamlatdar had last week written a letter to the governor and Assembly speaker stating he was the sole authority in the MGP to communicate party decisions to them.

Following the letter, the MGP had expelled Mamlatdar.

Talking about Wednesday's party meeting to discuss this issue, Dhavalikar said, "We might take certain resolutions in the central committee meeting which can have bearing on the stability of the government led by Pramod Sawant."

He alleged moves were afoot by his rivals to wean away MGP MLAs Manohar Ajgaonkar and Dipak Pawaskar, and in the process isolate Deputy Chief Minister Sudin Dhavalikar.

"Any attempt to disturb our MLAs will be viewed seriously and we won't mind pulling out of the government," he said.

On being queried about whether the option of the aligning with the opposition Congress was open to the MGP, Dhavalikar replied in the affirmative.

After the demise of Manohar Parrikar, BJP's Pramod Sawant took over as Chief Minister. He heads a coalition government comprising the MGP, the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and three Independent MLAs

Sawant faced vote of confidence during which his government garnered the support of 20 MLAs: 11 from the BJP, three each from MGP and GFP, three independents. Fifteen MLAs -- 14 from congress and one from NCP -- voted against his government.

The support of three MGP MLAs is crucial as without them the strength of the coalition government will reduce to 17 in the house. The magic figure in the 40-member assembly, the strength of which has been reduced to 36 following resignations of two MLAs and demise of two including Parrikar, is 18 as of now.

First Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 10:28 PM
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