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BJP Moves To Save Sinking Goa Government Amid Concerns Over Manohar Parrikar's Health

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| March 17 , 2019 , 12:58 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party swung into action on Sunday to save its coalition government in Goa after chief minister Manohar Parrikar's health worsened and the opposition Congress staked claim to form the government.

In a letter to Governor Mridula Sinha, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and senior Congress legislator Chandrakant Kavlekar claimed that the coalition government led by Manohar Parrikar is in minority and the BJP's numbers may “dwindle” further, and demanded that she should invite the Congress, the single largest party in the Assembly to form a government.

The Congress has 14 lawmakers in the 40-member assembly. The BJP has 13 lawmakers. It is backed by three MLAs each of the Goa Forward Party and MGP, an Independent, and the only NCP legislator in the state. Three seats in the assembly are currently lying vacant.

Besides the ailing Parrikar, another BJP MLA Pandurang Madkaikar is unwell and hasn’t been seen since he suffered a stroke in June last year leaving the Congress in a pole position if the government needs to prove its majority.

Speaking to media, Michael Lobo said that the BJP has decided that the next chief minister should be selected from the legislators. Michael Lobo also admitted that the party discussed replacement of Manohar Parrikar in a meeting on Saturday.

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"His health has deteriorated. Senior leaders are coming today. They will discuss the matter with allies Goa Forward Party and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party. Someone from within the party will be selected. Party has decided it should be one among the legislators," Michael Lobo said.

Parrikar was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer in February 2018 and has been in and out of hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, Delhi and New York since then.