Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday claimed that Governor S C Jamir had given the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Goa an opportunity to prove its majority in the assembly.
"I met the governor and asked him to let me prove the majority. And he has agreed. It is now up to the Speaker to decide on the date," the CM said after meeting Jamir.
Parrikar appeared confident of proving majority in the House, even as two more members of Legislative Assembly quit the BJP.
"I am still the chief minister and I can prove my majority at any time," he said.
Four MLAs - Micky Pacheco, Pandurang Madkaikar, Basbush Monserette and Isidore Fernandes, quit the party in the day, bringing down the BJP's strength to 17 in the 37-member House.
Two more ministers also quit from the cabinet.
Pacheco had merged his one-man United Goans Democratic Party (Secular) with the BJP only two days ago. He was a tourism minister in the Parrikar government. But the CM dropped him from the cabinet in June last year alleging that his style of functioning was not proper.
Madkaikar had quit the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party soon after elections in June 2002 to join the BJP, and he was made the transport minister.
Congress sources claimed that Manohar Azgaonkar was also expected to quit the BJP soon.
Speaker Vishwas Satarkar said he had not yet accepted the resignation letters, while Parrikar said he had not received any letter.
State BJP president Rajendra Arlekar, in a joint press conference held with Parrikar, termed the whole episode as the '10 Janpath conspiracy'. He also alleged that Governor S C Jamir had joined hands with the Congress.
The Congress dismissed BJP charges that it was involved in reducing the government to a minority. "We are not indulging in any horse trading and if the BJP government is falling due to its own internal contradictions, we cannot be held responsible," party spokesperson Girija Vyas said in New Delhi.
Vyas, who is the chairperson of the All India Congress Committee media department, said it was wrong of the BJP to accuse governor S C Jamir of foul play.
Margaret Alva, Congress general secretary in charge of party affairs in Goa, said that the Parrikar government was in a minority. "However, we would like the governor to decide before we stake claim to form the government," she said, before leaving to Delhi to consult party president Sonia Gandhi.
Asked who would be the next chief minister, she said, "He would be a senior Congress leader, who can take all the coalition partners along with him."
According to party sources, the 15-member Congress party is hopeful of securing three legislators -- one each from the Nationalist Congress Party, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and an independent minister.
With PTI inputs