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NCP brings Goa government to the brink

Sandesh Prabhudesai in Panaji | June 10, 2005 00:08 IST

The four-day old Pratapsing Rane government plunged into crisis on Thursday as Deputy Chief Minister Wilfred de Souza, belonging to the Nationalist Congress Party, threatened to withdraw support to the Congress-led alliance.

Pratapsinh Rane sworn in as CM

De Souza told reporters in Surat at a NCP convention that party president Sharad Pawar would take a decision on withdrawing support soon.

The NCP vented its ire after its newly elected party legislator Micky Pacheco was not given a cabinet berth.

The cabinet expansion is slated for Friday, June 10.

Cabinet recommends President's rule

The Congress is, however, trying to rope in lone United Goans Democratic Party legislator Mathany Saldhana, to save its alliance government.

UGDP general secretary Prashant Naik has said the party would support the Rane government.

Rane was sworn in the chief minister on June 7 after the NCP, which has two MLAs, and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, with one MLA, supported the 18-member Congress party in forming the government.

The bypoll results gave the Congress-led alliance a majority, with 21 MLAs as against BJP's 17 members.

Taking into consideration NCP's threat, Congress can still sustain its majority if the UGDP and the MGP supports its government.

If there is a tie, with each side having 19 members, Congress speaker Francisco Sardinha could save the government by casting his vote in Rane's favour.

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