The Bharatiya Janata Party and its alliance partners rushed to reassure that the government is stable and that claims of some alliance partners joining hands with the Congress to form a new government was mere speculation on the part of the opposition.
The Bharatiya Janata Party and its alliance partners rushed to reassure that the government is stable and that claims of some alliance partners joining hands with the Congress to form a new government was mere speculation on the part of the opposition. There was unity in government ranks seen as not just BJP stepped up to sweep away the claims, but Goa Forward too did, and even Health Minister Vishwajit Rane rejected any resentment among the alliance partners.
The general consensus was that the government is stable under the leadership of Manohar Parrikar, who, Vijai Sardesai reiterated, was brought back to Goa due to the demands of the alliance partners. The BJP and its allies assured the people that the government will last a full five-year term.
But, it’s not going to be easy for this government to provide some seamless governance and flawless administration. There may not be any visible rumblings, but the fact that two months after it has taken office, the government is yet to release the Common Minimum Programme that it had promised within 30 days of coming to power, is an indication that there are issues among the parties that need resolving.
There are too many contentious issues that the parties went to the polls with, and to find common ground without any one party backtracking will be impossible. The discussions to finalise the Common Minimum Programme will involve the parties backing down on certain issues that they think strongly about. Even as he reiterated his support to the government, of which he is a part, saying that being Goans they wouldn’t go against their word that has been given, Sardesai said that his party, Goa Forward, will object when it comes to contentious issues like the controversial allotment of land by the Investment Promotion Board.
The Investment Promotion Board is only one of the many issues on which the parties in government won’t be seeing eye-to-eye on. If Goa Forward has that issue as it bone of contention, then for others it would be the shifting of casinos from the River Mandovi, or the nationalisation of rivers or even the declassification of the coconut tree. Even as BJP claims that ‘all is well’ in and with the government, it is only when the Common Minimum Programme is released that Goans will get an idea of which party has had to back down on issues they feel strongly about.
The days and weeks ahead will probably be tough for the Chief Minister, perhaps not because of any threat to the government from the allies, but because of the discussions with the allies on the Common Minimum Programme. Not only does he need to interact with the coalition parties, be he also has to face the prospect of a by-poll so that he can become a Member of the Legislative Assembly.
The novelty of being in government will start wearing off soon, and while the parties discuss the Common Minimum Programme, the coconut tree may not be getting any taller, but the grass is definitely growing under the feet of the government, and the longer it takes to find that elusive common ground, the more difficult will it turn to reach a consensus. The Governor’s address and this government’s first Budget have already gone by without any major announcements. A code of conduct for the Panchayat polls will be upon the State this week onwards, and another when the by-elections are announced. There’s only a brief window period for the announcement of the coalition’s plans and the government’s stability will always be under a question mark, until the Common Minimum Programme is announced.