Manohar Parrikar, 63, was diagnosed with a pancreatic ailment in February last year. (File)
PANAJI: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's death this evening has brought down the BJP numbers in the state assembly from 13 to 12. But along with allies, they still have 20 lawmakers in the assembly, where the majority mark is at 19. Over Mr Parrikar's last days, the Congress made repeated attempts to dislodge the BJP government. On Saturday, the Congress asked Governor Mridula Sinha to invite them to form government, alleging that the BJP numbers have fallen below halfway mark and they are the single largest party. Reports that senior Congress leader Digambar Kamat may join the BJP added to the political churn. Mr Kamat has dismissed the reports. Here is your 10-point cheatsheet to this big story:
- Manohar Parrikar, 63, died at his son's home in Panaji this evening after battling a pancreatic ailment for more than a year. He was 63.
- The BJP has 12 lawmakers in the 40-seat assembly where the effective strength is 36. It is backed by three lawmakers each of the Goa Forward Party and MGP, an Independent, and the only NCP legislator in the state. The Congress has 14 lawmakers.
- The Congress said Governor Mridula Sinha is not responding to letters or giving them any appointment. The party said she was acting like a "BJP office bearer".
- Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat dismissed reports that he was joining the BJP if the ruling party decides to look for a leader to replace Manohar Parrikar. "Joining the BJP is political suicide," said Mr Kamat, who is currently in Delhi.
- Mr Parrikar's worsening health over the last year subjected the BJP to attacks from the Congress. The opposition party repeatedly questioned whether Mr Parrikar's ability to continue work.
- This morning, the BJP rushed two observers to Goa and asked all its lawmakers to remain in the state amid concerns over the health of Chief Minister and the Congress bid to capture power.
- The observers will also plan a strategy for the upcoming bypolls in three constituencies and Lok Sabha election in North and South Goa. The party's election committee is currently meeting in Panaji.
- While the Congress won more seats in the 2017 assembly elections, the BJP had won the race by deftly garnering enough support to cross the halfway mark.
- Manohar Parrikar, who was has been ailing since February last year, was accepted as the leader by his party this morning. The former defence minister had rushed back to the state after the assembly elections, when the allies said they would support the BJP only if he heads the government.
- Admitting that he was battling a "life-threatening disease", Mr Parrikar returned to work in December after being in and out of hospitals across Mumbai, Goa, Delhi and the US. His public appearances with a tube in his nose drew severe criticism from the opposition, which accused the BJP of parading him in his condition to save its government.
Claiming to be the single largest party, the Congress has asked Governor Mridula Sinha for an invitation to form the new government.
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