Intense jockeying has been on in Congress circles in Goa to displace the Manohar Parikkar-led government which was deemed to be tottering with Parrikar himself ailing seriously for many weeks. After much deliberation, the BJP decided not to change the chief minister anticipating that status quo was the best way to ensure BJP’s continuance. Coupled with this has come the bonus in the form of two Congress legislators switching loyalty to the BJP, boosting the ruling combine’s numbers to 16 in a House of 40. With three legislators of the Goa Forward Party, three of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, three Independents supporting it and the external support from Churchill Alemao of the NCP taking the tally hitherto to 23, on the face of it the support of the two new defected members should ensure stability.
But there is a state of flux that persists in Goa which would hardly go away. There would be moves and counter-moves and the inevitability of fresh elections looms large on the horizon. The only thing that can delay the fall of the current Parrikar government is the fear of legislators that fresh elections would follow and that they would have to face the people. The Goa government must gear up to overcome the disadvantage of running the government with an absentee chief minister. It must find a suitable replacement for Parikkar, spruce up administration and give to the people a government that responds to their needs.