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Neither suitcase nor horse-trading, strategy won us Goa: Gadkari

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today revealed how the BJP turned its defeat into victory in Goa by working throughout the night to garner the required numbers for forming the government and agreeing to make the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar the chief minister.

He added that while the Congress was sleeping, his party worked all night in order to form the government.

At the same time, he strongly refuted any charges of horse-trading during the hectic overnight parleys.

BJP, which won 13 seats in the recently held Goa elections, managed to form the government even though the Congress had emerged as the single largest party with 17 seats.

"I am not a person who does political deals. I am a 'mard' and do everything openly. I did not carry any money to anyone in Goa.

I don't do such things. I fight and get things done," the senior BJP leader and Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister said at the India Today Editors Roundtable here.

He was replying to allegations that it was money power that ensured required numbers for BJP in Goa.

Speaking on the developments on the night before BJP staked claim to form the government, Gadkari said he informed BJP President Amit Shah that the party had lost Goa and should concede defeat. However, Shah asked him to devise a strategy as he had already announced that BJP was going to form the government in Goa.

Gadkari said he was asked by Shah to go to Goa right away after a meeting with him. "I came back home, took my clothes and left for Goa," he said. In Goa, Gadkari said an apparently angry Sudin Dhavalikar of Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) came to meet him at the Taj hotel in Panaji and shared some issues which could not be disclosed on the platform but agreed to form an alliance with the BJP on the condition that he be given a ministerial berth.

Gadkari said with Dhavalikar's support, BJP s strength went to 16 and then he was approached by Vijay Sardesai of the Goa Forward Party (GFP).

"He has been a Congress man for his entire life. But he was being tortured by the Congress for past five years. We had got Dinesh Singh, who is a wrestler from Uttar Pradesh, and is a friend of Sardesai. He convinced Sardesai," Gadkari said.

The senior minister said Sardesai, along with a ministerial berth, wanted Manohar Parrikar to be made the chief minister.
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