POLITICS

Manohar Parrikar Thanks Digvijaya Singh For Letting Him Become The Goa Chief Minister

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31/03/2017 7:13 PM IST | Updated 31/03/2017 7:14 PM IST
Reuters
Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar walks past the Indian and Japanese flags as he inspects the honour guard before talks with his Japanese counterpart Gen Nakatani (not pictured) at the defense ministry in Tokyo.

NEW DELHI-- Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday thanked Congress leader Digvijaya Singh for failing to cobble together a majority in the state despite the party winning the largest number of assembly seats.

Parrikar made the remarks in the Rajya Sabha during Zero Hour.

"I express my thanks to the chairman, deputy chairman and members of this house for their support during my tenure as 'raksha mantri' (Defence Minister), and invite them to Goa whenever they want to come," Parrikar said.

"My special thanks go out to honourable member Digvijaya Singh, who happened to be in Goa but did nothing so that I could form the government," he said.

Outside the house, Parrikar said there was no question of immorality in the way the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed a coalition government with support from Independent legislators and regional parties.

"Other parties supported us as they didn't trust the Congress... It's a coalition government and there is no question of morality of immorality in it," Parrikar said.

The Congress won 17 seats in the February 4 state assembly elections and emerged as the single largest party, while the BJP won only 13 seats in the 40-member assembly.

Parrikar ruled out the possibility of coalition partners switching loyalties.

"Not as long as I am there," he said.

Asked why he gave special thanks to Digvijaya Singh, Parrikar replied: "I thanked him for his incompetence."

Digvijaya Singh has given notice for a substantive motion to discuss in the House the conduct of Goa Governor Mridula Sinha, which has been accepted by the Chair but the matter is yet to be taken up.

On Friday, the Congress leader again pressed for the substantive motion to be taken up, and asked Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien for the time slot.

"Sir, I have become a butt of jokes. When I come to the House reporters ask me what happened to my substantive motion, when I go out they ask me the same question," he said, adding that the urgency of the matter is lost.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) member Tapan Kumar Sen said the government is trying to avoid the matter.

"He (Digvijaya Singh) has given a substantive motion and it has been accepted. It means it should come in the list of business. But it appears there is an attempt to dodge out the matter during the remaining session," Sen said.

The Budget Session has six more working days left and would conclude on April 12.

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