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Home > News > Report

History repeats itself in Goa politics

Sandesh Prabhudesai in Panaji | July 30, 2007 21:26 IST

Imposition of President's Rule and keeping the assembly under suspended animation appears imminent with a replica of 2005 being enacted in Goa [Images] once again.

Governor S C Jamir, who had recommended the President's Rule then, still sits at the Raj Bhavan and cannot escape applying the same grounds once again, though it is the Congress government that is presently ruling the state.

In 2005, Jamir had however dismissed the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Manohar Parrikar [Images] government, before imposing the central rule one month later.

The 40-member House, in March 2005, had finally reduced to 34, with 18 members on both the sides -- the then ruling BJP and opposition Congress.

The Goa assembly is today once again reduced to 37, with 18 members on both the sides, excluding speaker Pratapsing Rane.

In order to win the trust vote, the Congress on Monday managed to get two members of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party restrained from voting, by filing disqualification petitions against them.

The two MGP legislator brothers -- Sudin and Dipak Dhavalikar -- withdrew their support to the 50-day-old Digambar Kamat government on July 25.

Victoria Fernandes, another Congress member who resigned from the party at the same time, was also restrained from voting on Monday. She, however, did not attend the session.

Speaker Rane issued these orders based on the disqualification petitions filed by the Congressmen against the three. The Kamat government had been reduced to minority of 18 due to the action of these three legislators.

The two-member MGP has supported the BJP-led alliance, consisting of 14 BJP, two of the Churchill Alemao-led Save Goa Front, Babush Monseratte of the United Goans Democratic Party and Independent Anil Salgaoncar.

Similar political drama, in 2005, had took place on January 29, with four BJP legislators quitting the party and reducing Parrikar government to minority of 18.

MGP's Dhavalikar had then shifted his support from the BJP to the Congress, besides an Independent Philip Neri Rodrigues.

With these resignations, the House had reduced to 36, with 18 members on both the sides.

Governor Jamir had then dismissed the Parrikar government on February 2, claiming that the speaker (belonging to the BJP) had failed to take up the trust vote. Rodrigues was lifted out of the House amidst pandemonium.

The governor had then inducted Pratapsing Rane government at midnight and was told to prove his majority on February 28.

Meanwhile, Kamat -- the chief minister today -- had also split from the BJP to join hands with the Congress on February 23, thereby reducing the BJP to mere 17. In retaliation, the speaker had disqualified Rodrigues, also pushing the Congress-led alliance to 17.

Instead of going for the trust vote, the speaker and the deputy speaker had both resigned, creating constitutional crisis.

The Central government had then imposed President's Rule by keeping the Assembly under suspended animation.

The Congress today has been pushed into similar situation, though it enjoys 19 against 18 of the BJP-led alliance. However, it will have to run the government by forcing the speaker every time to cast his vote in favour of the ruling party.

The Centre would be thus left with no other option than imposing the President's Rule in such a situation, while keeping the assembly under suspended animation.