Social Media today and particularly Facebook was agog with posts on how Goa Forward Party (GFP) boss-man Vijai Sardesai was leaning towards the BJP and with rumours flying fast and thick that both the GFP and the MGP were supporting the BJP, the party was all set to form the government in Goa, an online petition was launched on Sunday asking the Goa Forward to shun any tie-up with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The tide on social media rose to a crescent on Sunday late afternoon, forcing the GFP to clarify through a press release that they have not yet decided on supporting either the BJP or Congress.
To quell rumours on social media, the GFP rejecting reports that it was in talks to BJP for the formation of the state government, the Goa Forward Party issued a statement saying it has not yet decided on which of the two parties it is likely to support. However, both GFP and MGP have come in support of Manohar Parrikar be made chief minister. The party also said that if needed it was ready to sit in the Opposition.
Meanwhile on the other hand, Seven Catholic MLAs of the BJP on Sunday made a public plea to regional parties and Independent legislators to support the party in government formation in Goa.
Speaking to reporters in Panaji, BJP MLA Michael Lobo said: “We seven members of minority are appealing to Goa Forward, MGP and Independents to support us and form a stable government in Goa”.
For the first time, the number of Catholic legislators in the BJP has outnumbered Hindus, with seven legislators elected to the assembly in the February 4 election.
Both the Congress, which has emerged as the single largest party with 17 MLAs, and the BJP, with 13 MLAs, are in the process of speaking to regional parties and Independents in a bid to take power. The magic number mark in the 40-member Goa assembly is 21.
Regional parties Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and Goa Forward have won three seats each while three independents have also been elected. The Nationalist Congress party has won one seat.
It’s a known fact that Vijai Sardesai of the GFP has an axe to grind with GPCC chief Luizinho Faleiro and hot words have been exchanged publicly on the issue. Sardesai holds Faleiro responsible for the botched up alliance tie-up between the Congress and the GFP. Months before the election date on 4th February, allegations, accusations and counter allegations flew thick and fast between the Sardesai and Faleiro camps. In fact, Rahul Gandhi was initially in support of the alliance, but backed down when Faleiro refused to give in.
It is quite obvious that Sardesai does not want Faleiro as the CM and if Faleiro is chosen as the CM by the Goa Congress it is quite possible that Sardesai in his burning desire to get even with the GPCC chief may even support the BJP. Sardesai will not easily forget how the Congress under Faleiro’s directions fielded candidates against his own in 2-3 constituencies where he wanted his own men to contest with tacit Congress support.
It seems the BJP is even ready to offer Sardesai the post of Goa DyCM. However, with a majority of Catholic MLAs, the BJP would well give the CMs post to a Catholic this time, if it somehow manages to form the government with out side support.