Will the Goa government complete its 5-yr term?

Pooja Kalangutkar
Sunday, 31 March 2019

Recently, Goa lost its leader, late chief minister Manohar Parrikar. Though his demise was a big blow for the state and its people, the newly formed government might be in an even bigger problem.

Recently, Goa lost its leader, late chief minister Manohar Parrikar. Though his demise was a big blow for the state and its people, the newly formed government might be in an even bigger problem.

Since the time Parrikar was diagnosed with cancer, the state has been in a politically turmoil. Congress has been desperate to form the government in the state ever since the 2017 general elections, when despite getting a narrow majority, BJP very craftily snatched power to form the  government. 

This time, too, Congress sensing an opportunity with Parrikar’s illness, was desperate to form the government, as it felt that BJP did not have any capable leader beside the Chief Minister.

However, after Parrikar’s death, BJP thwarted all attempts of Congress and immediately installed a young leader at the helm of the state, who was sworn in as Chief Minister at midnight.

The BJP this time got a young and a fairly new face for leading the new alliance government. Pramod Sawant, the new chief minister has been an MLA twice and was the speaker of State Legislative Assembly. However, he has not handled any ministry in the past.

To retain their allies, BJP created two posts of deputy chief minister, and gave the posts to leaders of their two allies, Vijai Sardesai of the Goa Forward Party and Sudin Dhavlikar of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party. This was the first time that the coastal state had appointed two deputy chief ministers.

Now, again, in a mid-night development, two MLAs, Deepak Pawaskar and Manohar Azgaonkar,  parted ways with MGP and joined the BJP. This led to the new Chief Minister dropping one of the two deputies and MGP Chief Sudin Dhavlikar.
Some of the Goans are of the opinion that in the current scenario, the government is not going to survive.
Abhay Shirodkar from Goa, sharing his concern, said,  “This government won’t be able to survive its remaining full term and mid-term elections look inevitable in the near future.”

Nikhil Shirsat, another Goan, is of the opinion that the state should go for a fresh election. He says, “The current crop of members of the legislative assembly is quite different from those elected in 2017. With the untimely demise of Manohar bhai, the government lacks a proper leader. With the coalition partners trying to run the show, I do not think this government can achieve anything substantial. The best alternative would be to dissolve this current assembly and call for fresh elections.”

Now, the question is whether the sitting MLAs will be honest with their respective parties and the people, or will they fall for their selfish motives? 

Abhay says, “With a lot of MLAs from coalition partners and the Opposition switching parties, the future looks hazy. It’s math with all sorts of permutations and combinations in play. Every day, we come across new revelations about MLAs switching parties. With these scenarios, the political circus is becoming more entertaining. The picture will become clearer once the Lok Sabha and the bypoll results are out. Major political happenings will take place only after that.” 

Another question arises is whether the newly formed government will survive till the end of the term? Not sure, but Goans do feel that it will last at least for the next few months till the Lok Sabha elections and the by-elections are over. 

Gautam Naik, from Goa, who is currently working in Pune, said that he thinks the government will complete the term. He said, “I think BJP will be able to complete its five years term even if they are not close to a majority, as they have mastered the art of divide and rule. So even if BJP loses in the bypolls, it will somehow ensure that the government does not fall. This political drama will greatly affect the development and momentum of the administration.”

With all the political ups and downs that Goa is facing, what lies in the future of Goan politics is what to look out for in the coming months. The government may not complete the term, considering the numerous differences within the MLAs who are part of the government. Or they might prove to be an effective alliance if they consider to wipe out their differences and work for the state. It will be pretty interesting for the political analysts but surely difficult times ahead for the tiny 
coastal state.

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