Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said on Tuesday his party won assembly elections in Manipur and Goa but the BJP threw money to “steal the mandate”, as the saffron party appeared to inch ahead in the race to form governments in the two states.
His comments came roughly an hour after the Supreme Court ordered a floor test in Goa on Thursday but didn’t stop BJP’s Manohar Parrikar from taking oath as chief minister this evening.
“Our fight is against BJP’s ideology, what they did in Manipur and Goa is exactly the ideology we are fighting against,” Gandhi told reporters outside Parliament.
“Out of five states, BJP won two, we won three. In two of the states we won, democracy is being undermined by them, using financial power and money.”
The Congress is the single-largest party in the 40-member assembly with 17 seats, but the BJP – which has 13 MLAs -- claims a majority with support from two smaller parties and independents.
In Manipur, the Congress is just three short of the halfway mark of 31 but the BJP has already named a chief ministerial pick and claims to have cobbled together a majority coalition.
Gandhi refuted criticism that his party was outpaced by the BJP after the results were declared on Saturday. “The question is not how soon they went, it is with how much money they went.”
Gandhi admitted the need for organisational changes but refused to give importance to the Congress’ miserable performance in UP, where it won just seven seats in a 403-member assembly.
The Congress’ allegations were flayed by Union minister Venkaiah Naidu, who said the BJP had complete right to create a coalition as no party achieved a majority.
“Majority was not received by any parties in Goa and Manipur, other parties gave us support for formation of government,” ANI quoted the BJP leader as saying.