Congress had undoubtedly received a clear mandate of the people of Goa this time. In the 40 members, Goa Assembly Congress came out as the single largest party with 17 seats into their account. Many places Congress defeated the BJP candidates and regained the power back. The places like Tivim and Ponda has created the history this time as both the dormant candidates had managed to secure their seats back from these constituencies. So what was the reason behind Congress not forming the government they waited for the last five years? Let us take a look at it here.
The 2017 Goa Assembly Election results were declared on the 11th March which was Saturday. The results made Congress a single largest political party in the state with 17 seats in their account. BJP managed to secure the second place with just 13 seats this time and rest had a very negligible share. The speculations of Congress is going to form a government this time started in the media. But Congress, as usual, became carefree due to their victory and switched back to take it easy policy.
On the other side, BJP who faced the bitter defeat this time in Goa became more alert and started mobilizing their resources to check out the possibilities of forming the government in the state with the help of existing regional parties and independents. According to the sources, the Calangute MLA Mr. Micheal Lobo has played the major role in getting the rivals to BJP camp. After winning the seat from Calangute Micheal had told the media that he is in touch with the Goa forward and Vijay Sardesai had promised him the coalition.
According to the sources, Congress decided to announce their CM candidate and called for the executive meeting at 11 am on Sunday at the Congress house in Panaji but it was not attended by many senior leaders due to their differences over the position of CM’s post, said the sources.The meeting was postponed to 1 pm on the same day and this time everyone was present but still, they could not manage to decide their leader till late night.
The major reason behind the independents and regional parties approaching the BJP is said to be the prevalence of an uncertainty in the Congress party. Despite of the presence of national leader Digvijaya Singh the state party could not make a decisions on the leadership and that made the independents and regional parties feel insecure and they decided to go to the BJP camp, claims the sources.
Meeting that started at 11 am could not reach to its conclusion till late night, said the sources. The regional parties and independents saw the congress leader fighting amongst themselves for the power which made their confidence level go down. On the other hands, the BJP took full advantage of the situation and worked swiftly in getting towards the magic figure of 21 seats. The sources have claimed that BJP national leader Nitin Gadkari and Calangute MLA Michael Lobo played the major role in government formation.
According to the sources, Mr. Gadkari came down to Goa on the midnight of 11th following the results and started the meetings in the night itself. At 1.30am Gadkari met Sudin Dhavalikar followed by meeting with Fatorda MLA Vijay Sardesai at 2.30am but according to the sources, Vijay did not give any assurance to Gadkari since he wanted to wait for the Congress to decide on the formation of the government in the state. He switched all his mobile phones off and remained at home. At this juncture Micheal Lobo played the role saviour for BJP. All the BJP leaders were aware that if Vijay do not join the coalition it will not be possible to form the government this time. Micheal said to have played major role in getting the GF candidate win from Saligao constituency due to which he remained the favourite of Vijay Sardesai. according to sources, Micheal Went to Fatorda and brought Vijay to Panaji. Micheal was instrumental in removing this major hurdle from the way of BJP government formation, said the sources.
Vijay was very hard to crack said the sources but Micheal managed to convince Vijay and finally the setting was done under the following conditions. According to the alliance formula, GF asked for three ministerial berths while MGP for 2 and rest two were allotted to independents. Meanwhile, the BJP themselves left with only 4 ministerial posts for themselves, said the sources.
Meanwhile the south goa stalwart Churchill Alemao had approached Congress with the suggestion of coalition with regional parties for the formation of the government but he was against the coalition with MGP “NCP entering into the coalition with BJP or MGP is the false allegations and according to me it will never happen.” said Churchill.
The senior leader and Goa in-charge Digvijaya Singh has told the media that their party could not form a government due to the money power game played by the BJP. He also apologized to Goans for failing to remain with their expectations. It may be recalled that with 17 seats, the Congress has emerged as the single largest party in the Goa Assembly. Although it did not have the majority but it was better placed to reach the halfway mark. With the support of 1 Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) member, its tally reaches 18. It just required the support of either the Goa Forward Party (GFP) or all three independents to reach the magic figure of 21. (17+1+3 = 21). Meanwhile, Vijay Sardesai, who is the Goa Forward Party (GFP) mentor, is a former Congressman. He was in touch with Digvijaya Singh, the Congress’ state in-charge after elections were announced, but the Congress wasn’t interested in a pre-poll alliance. Sardesai’s campaign was against the BJP government, so the Congress is hoping that he will support the Congress’ bid. Goa Pradesh Congress Committee Chief Luizinho Faleiro on Saturday said the Congress is set to form the government, although he did not reveal whether it has approached the GFP. He said that the Congress was in touch with independents as well.
The above scenario is the clear picture of Congress is responsible for government formation by the BJP with the help of GFA, MGP, and Independents. There is a lack of leadership in Congress which is said to be the most crucial factor for any political party. It is only after the leadership, the political parties can take further decisions. Congress never announced their leader or Chief Ministerial candidate right from the beginning keeping everybody in abeyance which finally resulted into surprising themselves. BJP, on the other hand, had shown more stability which perhaps resulted in the formation of an alliance. The horse trading is not a new game to any political party at least in our country and that subject should be kept aside. The failure cannot be blamed on such things.