Supreme Court Questions Congress After It Claims Majority In Goa

PANAJI: Hearing the Congress’ petition against the BJP being invited to form government in Goa despite winning fewer seats in the assembly elections, the Supreme Court said “You never mentioned you had support before Governor or in this petition.” The party is asking the court to stop Manohar Parrikar’s oath ceremony as Goa Chief Minister, planned for 5 pm today. It has also written to Governor Mridula Sinha asking her to scrap Mr Parrikar’s swearing-in ceremony; they will meet the Governor at 1.30 pm today. In parliament, the opposition party has sought that regular proceedings be adjourned to debate the BJP being invited to form government in Goa and Manipur despite coming second to the Congress in the assembly elections.

  1. The Goa Congress’ petition to the Supreme Court says Governor Sinha’s decision to invite the BJP to form the government is “illegal” and a “blatant unconstitutional action” as the single-largest party should have been given the first chance.
  2. In election results announced on Saturday, the Congress won 17 seats and the BJP was second with 13. Both were short of 21, the minimum number of seats needed in the 40-member Goa assembly to form government.
  3. The BJP moved swiftly to secure the support of regional parties Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party or MGP and Goa Forward and some Independent legislators and had by Sunday evening met the Governor to stake claim. The new allies had one condition – the BJP’s Manohar Parrikar should be Chief Minister.
  4. Governor Sinha invited the BJP, which says it now has the backing of 22 MLAs, to form government. Mr Parrikar said on Monday that he had resigned as Defence Minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet to return to his home state and to the post he held before he was called to Delhi.
  5. “The BJP is stealing elections in Goa, Manipur. Party that comes second has no right to form government,” Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram tweeted on Monday. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, who has charge of BJP’s Goa affairs retorted, “The Congress was busy in Goa with five to six candidates claiming leadership. So they did not have time to discuss with alliance partners.”
  6. Several newly elected Congress MLAs or legislators are livid that the party’s state leadership did not move fast enough to get the support of four legislators that it needed. “It is miserable and horrible…people trusted the Congress and voted for us…we get a clear 17 seats and we still couldn’t manage to form government… we are the laughing stock,” said Jennifer Monserrate, a Congress leader elected from Taleigao (North Goa).
  7. Sources say Ms Monserrate and some other Congress legislators like Vishwajeet Rane, a front runner from his party for chief minister, have indicated that they could be looking at quitting the party. There were heated arguments his morning at a Congress meeting in Goa.
  8. The MLAs have attacked Congress’ Goa in charge Digvijaya Singh alleging mismanagement by “seniors” and have in private compared his efforts of to those of Nitin Gadkari , who began negotiations with smaller parties immediately after election results were announced.
  9. Manohar Parrikar has said BJP chief Amit Shah and union Minister Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari will attend his oath ceremony this evening.
  10. After being sworn in Chief Minister, Mr Parrikar will have to prove within 15 days that he has majority support in the Goa assembly and will also have to within six months be elected to the state legislature. A newly elected legislator will vacate a seat for that.
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