While Goa Congress leader Chandrakant Kavlekar on Monday led his party MLAs to the Raj Bhawan 'uninvited' to meet Governor Mridula Sinha in order to stake claim to form government in the state following the death of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, sources have told Republic TV that BJP is pushing for current speaker of state legislative assembly Pramod Sawant to be the Parrikar's successor.
However, sources have further stated that Goa Forward Party chief Vijai Sardesai and MGP's Sudhin Dhavlikar, members of BJP-led NDA government allies in the state, are negotiating with BJP for the position of Deputy CM in the state.
Furthermore, BJP MLAs are in a huddle in Goa' Hotel Cidade, sources said.
Meanwhile, preparations for the swearing-in ceremony for the new Goa CM, which is likely to take place later on Monday in the presence of Governor Mridual Sinha, are underway at the Raj Bhawan.
After the demise of CM Manohar Parrikar, the strength of the Goa Assembly has now reduced to 36. Previously, three seats got vacant in the assembly following the death of BJP MLA Francis D'Souza and resignation of two Congress MLAs namely Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar. With the strength of the House reducing to 36, a party would require the support of 19 MLAs to form a government at the state.
The Goa Forward Party (GFP), the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) have three MLAs each, while the NCP has one. There are three Independents as well.
The Congress is currently the single largest party in the state with 14 MLAs while the BJP has 12 in the 40-member Assembly. However, with the NDA government supported by three MLAs each of Maharashtra Gomantak Party and Goa Forward Party, an NCP MLA in the assembly and three independent MLAs, the number changes drastically.
As per reports, both Goa BJP leaders Pramod Sawant and Vinay Tendulkar are in the fray to be the next CM of Goa, a decision which will be taken Monday evening.
India is observing a day of national mourning on March 18 on account of the former Union Defence Minister and Goa CM Manohar Parrikar's demise, with the state of Goa to observe a week's mourning. His last rites are set to be performed at 5 pm on Monday.