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Goa: Parrikar ready to prove majority

Sandesh Prabhudesai in Panaji. | January 31, 2005 12:25 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Goa has requested the governor to convene a special session of the state assembly on February 3 to allow the government to prove its majority on the floor of the House.

The governor's decision is awaited.

The Manohar Parrikar government slipped into minority in the House after four BJP MLAs - Micky Pacheco, Pandurang Madkaikar, Babush Monserette, and Isidore Fernandez -- quit the party last Saturday .

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

Parrikar had on Monday called an emergency meeting of his council of ministers to discuss the crisis.

Earlier in the day, the political numbers game 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 BJP government.

Saldhana, who was in Spain when the opposition Congress began pulling strings to bring the government down on Saturday, 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.

With Saldhana sticking with the BJP camp, the ruling party now has 17 MLAs on its side, excluding the speaker.

The Congress-led alliance is still a little ahead with 18 MLAs. Besides 15 Congressmen, the alliance comprises one member each of the Nationalist Congress Party, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and an Independent.

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