The ruling BJP on Thursday described the decision of Congress party to stake claim to form the government in Goa as a “stunt” and said the opposition party’s “dream” to acquire power in the coastal state will never be fulfilled.

Seeking replication of the Karnataka example in Goa, the Congress decided to stake claim to form government in Goa, where it had emerged as the single largest party in the Assembly polls held in 2017.

In the Assembly elections held in March last year, the Congress had bagged 17 seats in the 40-member House, falling short of the majority figure by four seats. The BJP, which got 14 seats, formed the government in alliance with Goa Forward Party and MGP, both of which had secured three seats each. Three Independents also went with the BJP.

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On Thursday, Congress Legislature Party chief Chandrakant Kavlekar made the stunning announcement that Congress will stake claim on Friday by submitting to Governor Mridula Sinha a formal letter containing signatures of all the 16 MLAs that the party has now.

BJP state unit president Vinay Tendulkar told PTI that, “The Congress had a chance to form the government after 2017 assembly results. But their legislators and party’s national leaders were busy enjoying stay at a hotel.”

He said the Congress should have staked their claim to form government one and half year back after the outcome of the polls.

“The BJP had staked the claim to form government successfully (in 2017), as the party had the majority with more than 21 (MLAs) supporting it,” he said, adding that the Congress move was just a “stunt”.

Congress leader Chandrakant Kavlekar on Thursday had informed that the party will stake claim on Friday by submitting to Governor Mridula Sinha a formal letter containing signatures of all the 16 party MLAs.

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Kavlekar said the Goa Governor should follow the precedent set by her Karnataka counterpart and invite the single largest party to form the government “correcting her mistake of March 12, 2017”.

He was referring to the decision of Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala to invite the BJP to form the government after the Assembly election results declared on 15 May.

The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats in the 222-member Karnataka Assembly, was invited by the governor despite the JD(S)-Congress combine staking claim by citing the support of 117 MLAs. The majority mark is 112 seats.

(With agency inputs)