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Cong stakes claim to form govt in Goa

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Last updated on: January 29, 2005 15:47 IST

The Congress on Saturday staked its claim to form government in Goa after three ruling Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs resigned from the party and two ministers quit the BJP-led government.

Congress leader Lluizinoh Falerio met Governor S C Jamir and handed him a list of MLAs willing to support a Congress-led government.

Earlier Report: Goa govt on shaky ground

Congress general secretary in charge of Goa, Margaret Alva, also met the governor separately. "We have presented our support to him. We are the largest party and it is up to him [the governor] to take a decision now," she told reporters after the meeting.

BJP's Babush Monserette, who was stripped of the town and country planning portfolio by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar two days ago, resigned from the party early on Saturday along with party colleague Isidore Fernandes.

Fernandes was elected on a BJP ticket just two months ago.

Just a few hours later, Micky Pacheco, who had merged his United Goans Democratic Party with the BJP just two days back, also resigned.

Almost parallely, Public Works Minister Sudin Dhawalikar of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Water Resources Minister Philip Neri Rodrigues, an Independent, withdrew their support to the government.

Though Tourism Minister Mathany Saldhana, the third minister belonging to the United Goans Democratic Party, is away in Spain, his party has submitted a letter to the governor withdrawing support to the Parrikar government.

Jamir, who had left for Nagaland on Friday, cut short his trip and  flew back to Goa from Mumbai on Saturday morning.

The BJP, which had 21 members in the 40-member House, now has only 18 and almost all its allies too have withdrawn support.

Alva, while speaking to reporters, revealed that at least one more BJP MLA will quit the party very soon.

Sources said this could be Transport Minister Pandurang Madkaikar, who had left the MGP to join the BJP.

Reports said Madkaikar, who was in Delhi, has cut short his trip and is flying back to Panaji.

Sandesh Prabhudesai in Panaji