Thursday 30 May 2024

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Politics | Toppling Games

Faleiro govt on verge of collapse

 

The Luizinho Faleiro-led Congress government, having majority of one member in the Goa Assembly, has run into rough weather within 68 days as two of his ministers resigned today evening and supported former chief minister Dr Wilfred de Souza to form a coalition government.

In a surprise development, Goa Rajiv Congress leader de Souza rushed to Cabo Raj Bhavan to stake his claim to form the government, along with leaders of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, two independents and one Congress minister who resigned.

On the other hand, Faleiro has recommended the governor to dissolve the House and impose President’s Rule in the tourist state as such instability and floor-crossing is not healthy for Indian democracy. When asked, he said he presumed that he has lost majority in the House.

Social welfare minister Deu Mandrekar had recently split from de Souza’s GRC to join back the Congress along with three others while independent MLA John Manuel Vaz had shifted sides, to be made the minister. Both Mandrekar and Vaz have now withdrawn support to the government.

While addressing the journalists after returning from the Raj Bhavan, de Souza claimed that he would get at least two more Congress legislators on his side, increasing his strength to 23. He is however waiting for governor J F R Jacob to take a decision.

"The only option Faleiro is left with is to either resign or face a floor test to prove his majority", says de Souza. The Congress camp however claims that Faleiro would recommend dissolution of the House to the governor.

Though Mandrekar’s act of going against the party attracts disqualification, de Souza seems to be least worried about it. "They will cut their own throat by doing it", he says as de Souza still enjoys support of 20 in the 40-member House even without Mandrekar while the Congress would be reduced to 18 including one independent supporting them, in case the former is disqualified.

The Congress is presently the largest group of 19 members in the House, while the GRC is having six, the MGP eight and the BJP four, besides one independent-turned minister Victoria Fernandes supporting the Congress and de Souza claiming support of two other independents.

The three-and-a-half month old coalition government led by de Souza, who had split from the Congress along with nine others in July last, was pulled down by his four GRC colleagues who joined back the Congress by end-November. Faleiro was then made the Congress chief minister.

Goans however had expressed surprise over the governor’s decision to allow the Congress to form the government with razor-thin majority instead of going for dissolution. Dr Willy however expects the governor to apply the same criteria once again and allow him to form the government.

Faleiro however strongly recommends dissolution and imposition of the President’s Rule, while also stating the Congress is prepared to join hands with the BJP to press for the demand since they were also in favour of dissolution since long.

Though the BJP still favours dissolution, its local secretary Subhash Salkar however said they would support Dr Willy’s government from outside if he is invited to form the government. MGP leader Dr Kashinath Jalmi has demanded dismissal of the Congress government, while they are yet to decide whether to participate in the coalition or support it from outside.

In the earlier coalition government led by Dr Willy, the MGP had participated in the government while the BJP had supported it from outside. As general Assembly elections are hardly 10 months away and people are fed up with such instability, it has to be seen whether the MGP participates in the government. 


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