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New twist in Goa numbers game

January 31, 2005 10:59 IST

The political numbers game in Goa on Monday morning took an interesting turn when the lone United Goa Democratic Party MLA and Tourism Minister Mathany Saldhana declared his "unconditional support" to the crisis-stricken Bharatiya Janata Party government.

Saldhana, who was in Spain when the opposition Congress began pulling strings to bring the government down on Saturday last, arrived in Panaji this morning. He later appeared at a press conference with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and declared his support to the government.

"I am not a weather-cock to keep changing sides. Politics is not a power game for me," he said.

The Congress staked claim to form government in Goa after four BJP MLAs - Micky Pacheco, Pandurang Madkaikar, Babush Babush Monserette, and Isidore Fernandez -- quit the party, bringing down the BJP's strength to 17.

Public Works Minister Sudin Dhawalikar of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Water Resources Minister Philip Neri Rodrigues, an Independent, also withdrew their support to the government.

While the UGDP also sent a letter to Governor S C Jameer withdrawing support to the Manohar Parrikar government, Saldhana on Monday claimed he was not consulted.

Saldhana is UGDP's lone representative in the state assembly.

The governor, meanwhile, has asked Parrikar to prove his majority on the floor of the House.

Earlier report: '10 Janpath conspiracy' rocks Goa govt

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