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Oj Corner
Special column
by OJ George

Cheque facility won't be withdrawn, says the govt
It is a matter of relief that the Union Government has clarified that cheque facility won't be withdrawn.

There were stray reports that an overenthusiastic government favaouring total digitalisation may go in for banning the cheque books.


It is gratifying to note that the government won't proceed with the reforms this way.
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Parrikar Govt wins confidence vote, 22 out of 40 votes
The Manohar Parrikar government on Thursday proved its majority on the floor of the Goa Assembly by winning the trust vote with the support of 22 legislators in the 40-member House.

The opposition Congress could muster only 16 votes against the government with one of its legislators absenting from the crucial floor test.

The special Assembly session was convened to conduct the floor test following an order by the Supreme Court.

Parrikar, who resigned as Defence minister earlier this week, was sworn-in as the Chief Minister along with nine other MLAs by Governor Mridula Sinha on March 14.

The 61-year-old BJP leader proved his majority with 12 legislators from the BJP, three from the Goa Forward Party (GFP), three from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), three Independents and one from the NCP voting in favour of the trust motion.

The opposition benches included 16 MLAs from Congress, while its newly-elected member Vishwajit Rane remained absent during the voting.

The test was passed through a clear division which was ordered by Pro-tem Speaker Siddharth Kuncolienkar, a BJP member.

Senior Congress leader Pratapsinh Rane sought to raise a point of order when Parrikar moved a motion seeking vote of confidence.

The Speaker, however, did not allow Rane to raise the point of order and continued the voting process.

The Congress, despite emerging as the single largest party in the elections, could not form the government while the BJP made deft moves by securing support from regional outfits and independents.

Riding on the charisma of Parrikar, the BJP managed to cobble up an alliance of GFP, MGP and Independents.

An aggrieved Congress moved the Supreme Court on March 13 to stall the swearing-in of Parrikar with the claim that it should have been invited to form the government since it was the single largest party.

But the apex court refused to stop the swearing-in and ordered to hold the floor test today.

Ahead of the trust vote, all the 40 legislators took oath.

Later, the session was adjourned till March 22 when it will meet again to elect the Speaker. This would be followed by the Governor's address on March 23 and presentation of the state budget on March 24.
   
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