Parrikar wins Goa trust vote, 1 Cong MLA skips voting

The Manohar Parrikar-led government today won a trust vote in the Goa assembly by securing support of 22 of the 40 legislators, even as one Congress MLA abstained from voting.

Despite all protests, the opposition Congress could muster only 16 votes against the government with one of its legislators absenting from the crucial floor test.

The 61-year-old BJP leader Manohar Parrikar proved his majority with 12 legislators from the BJP, three from the Goa Forward Party (GFP), three from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), three Independents and one from the NCP voting in favour of the trust motion at a special assembly session convened following an order by the Supreme Court (See: Hung Goa: SC fast-forwards floor test for Parrikar to Thursday).

The opposition benches included 16 MLAs from Congress, while its newly-elected member Vishwajit Rane remained absent during the voting.

The test was passed through a clear division, which was ordered by pro-tem speaker Siddharth Kuncolienkar, a BJP member.

Senior Congress leader Pratapsinh Rane sought to raise a point of order when Parrikar moved a motion seeking vote of confidence.

The speaker, however, did not allow Rane to raise the point of order and continued the voting process.

BJP's poster boy in Goa Manohar Parrikar, who resigned as defence minister earlier this week, was sworn-in as the chief minister along with nine other MLAs by governor Mridula Sinha on 14 March.

The Congress, despite emerging as the single-largest party in the elections with 17 MLAs, could not form the government while the BJP moved quickly to secure support of regional outfits and independents.

Riding on the charisma of Parrikar, the BJP managed to cobble up an alliance of GFP, MGP and Independents.

The Congress moved the Supreme Court on 13 March to stall the swearing-in of Parrikar with the claim that it should have been invited to form the government since it was the single largest party.

But the apex court rejected Congress's claims and refused to stop the swearing-in and instead ordered holding the floor test today.

Ahead of the trust vote, all the 40 legislators took oath.

Later, the session was adjourned till 22 March when it will meet again to elect the speaker. This will be followed by the governor's address on 23 March and presentation of the state budget on 24 March.