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Acid test for Goa govt on Monday

July 29, 2007 15:45 IST

Goa will witness hectic political activities on Monday when the Congress-led government will test its majority on the floor of the state assembly.

The 40-member assembly will be in session at 1430 hours.

The withdrawal of support by alliance partner, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, and the resignation by dissident Congress legislator Victoria Fernandes reduced the government led by Chief Minister Digamber Kamat to a minority last week.

The opposition BJP has cobbled together the Goa Democratic Alliance, comprising the MGP, Save Goa Front, United Goans Democratic Party and independent candidate Anil Salgaoncar, to stake a claim to form the next government.

The GDA on Saturday paraded its 20 legislators and Fernandes, who resigned as a member of the legislative assembly, before President Pratibha Patil in Delhi.

The scene has now shifted to the Goa assembly, which will meet on Monday.

Speaker Pratapsingh Rane will play a major role in Monday. He is yet to accept the resignation of Fernandes and the Congress-led camp is still counting her among its supporters.

"I have 20 legislators on my side. Fernandes' resignation is not yet accepted," Kamat told media persons on Saturday, indicating the Congress is 'not lagging in the numbers game.'

The GDA, too brags support of 20 legislators, which includes 14 BJP, two Save Goa Front, two MGP, one United Goans Democratic Party and an independent.

"Another independent Vishwajeet Rane is inclined towards us and he will support us when we form the government," Manohar Parrikar, tipped to be the chief minister if GDA grabs power, told PTI.

Parrikar said there are enough indications that Rane, son of the speaker, will join the group. Jr Rane, on the other hand, denied such a possibility.      

"I have very good relations with Parrikar, but I have promised Congress president Sonia Gandhi that I will be with the Congress party for next five years," Rane told PTI.

Adding to the political scenario, the political circle is abuzz with the news about possible disqualification petition against both the MGP legislators.

The hint of what is going to come was given on Saturday when MGP general secretary Pradip Naik addressed a press conference to claim that 'legislators did not consult the party before withdrawing the support.'

The MGP, within one hour, expelled Naik for his statement and its president Pandurang Raut convened another press conference to clarify that their legislators have acted by taking party into confidence.

As Governor S C Jamir has asked the chief minister to hold the floor test on Monday, it is expected that Goa government's future will be decided on the floor or else centre will have to intervene in the matter.

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