A day after Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar's death, Congress MLAs met Governor Mridula Sinha on Monday and staked claim to form government in the coastal state.
All the 14 Congress MLAs, led by Leader of the Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar, went to Raj Bhavan and handed over a letter to Sinha, saying it was the single largest party in the assembly and should be allowed to form the government.
"We are saddened by the chief minister's demise, but before his final rites are performed, a new government has to be formed...The governor has acknowledged that the Congress is the single largest party and she said she will get back to us," Kavlekar told reporters.
The opposition party had earlier written to Sinha, staking claim to form the government on Friday and then again on Sunday.
Before heading to the Raj Bhavan, Kavlekar said, "We are a majority party in the House and still have to struggle to get the appointment. We demand that we be invited to form the government under the circumstances where the (Bharatiya Janata Party-led) government does not exist after Parrikar's demise," he said.
Asked about the possibility of the assembly being kept in suspended animation, he said, "When the Congress is staking claim, that question does not arise."
The Congress is currently the single largest party in the state with 14 MLAs while the BJP has 12 in the 40-member assembly.
The strength of the House has now been reduced to 36 due to demise of BJP MLA Francis D'Souza earlier this year and Parrikar on Sunday and resignations of two Congress MLAs Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte last year.
The Goa Forward Party, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party have three MLAs each, while the Nationalist Congress Party has one. There are three independents as well.
The GFP, the MGP and independents were part of the Parrikar-led government.