PANAJI: A group of Congress legislators in Goa were "upset" and blamed the party's top leadership for the failure to form the government in the coastal state despite emerging as the single largest party in the assembly polls.
"I am very upset with the way our party leaders handled the situation after the (Goa Assembly poll) results, which gave us the first right -- as the single largest party -- to form the government. I feel let down at the functioning of the party leaders who could not take a decision at the right time," Vishwajit Rane, who won from the Valpoi constituency, told PTI today.
He said that "gross mismanagement" by party leaders and the "delay" in choosing the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader hurt them.
The Congress won 17 seats in Goa, only four short of the magic figure to form the government. Soon after the results threw up a hung assembly, Independent candidate Rohan Khaunte had extended support to the party. Also, informal talks were on with three legislators of the Goa Forward Party on Saturday, before the BJP stole the march on its rival after it could not muster the numbers to capture power.
Congress' lone woman legislator Jeniffer Monserratte representing Taleigao constituency said, "Our party leaders are to be blamed for the failure to form the government."
"People had given us the mandate but party leaders failed to respect it. It is entirely their fault," she said. Similarly, senior leader and Curtorim legislator Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco said that the people wanted the Congress to form the government but party leaders miserably failed to honour the verdict.
"Why should we blame someone for forming the government, when we failed in our responsibility? We were 17 in number," Lourenco said.
"People wanted us to form the government and hence, they had rejected the BJP. But we failed to give people their government," he added.
All India Congress Committee General Secretary and in-charge of party affairs in Goa Digvijaya Singh said he would speak to the Congress legislators who have expressed resentment.
"Let us see. I will talk to them. I will find out," Singh said today.
Yesterday, despite being a runner-up behind the Congress, the BJP, which bagged 13 seats, pulled off a coup and staked the claim to form the next government in Goa in coalition with local outfits and Independents under Manohar Parrikar.
As the saffron party outmanoeuvred the Congress in its bid to power, Singh had accused Parrikar of indulging in "horse trading and hijacking the popular mandate which was in favour of the Congress".