Proceedings of the Rajya Sabha were washed out on Wednesday as the Congress protested against the formation of BJP governments in Goa and Manipur, even as the ruling party asserted that the democratic norms were followed.
Raising the issue as soon as the House met for the day, the Congress members created ruckus and forced repeated adjournments by demanding sacking of the Governors in the two states and installing of Congress governments there.
In view of the continuing protests and uproar, the House was adjourned prematurely for the day at around 3.10 pm.
While raising the issue, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Congress had emerged as the single-largest party in Goa and Manipur but the BJP installed its governments through their governors.
“The BJP has formed its governments in both Goa and Manipur after violating the Constitution and the Supreme Court judgment. We oppose it. Status quo should be maintained.
“We demand that the governors of Goa and Manipur be removed and Congress chief ministers in both the states should be allowed to take oath,” Azad said.
Asserting that the Congress party will not accept the BJP governments in these two states, Deputy Leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha demanded that the House adopt a resolution against the role of the two Governors.
Finance Minister and Leader of the House Arun Jaitley, however, maintained that the governments in Goa and Manipur are being formed as per the democratic norms.
He said after the assembly polls gave a hung verdict in these two states, the BJP formed the governments after firming up coalitions.
He said there are only two options before the Governor - that of inviting the single-largest party or the alternative coalition.
Rejecting any wrong doing by the BJP, Jaitley cited the example of Jharkhand where his party, despite getting 30 seats in the 81-member Assembly some years back, was not invited to form the government and instead JMM with 17 seats formed the government along with some other parties.
Jaitley also said that in 1998 when the Vajpayee government was formed, the then President of India had also spelt out the option of an alternative coalition to be taken into account in government formation.
“The argument given by Mr Azad has been given yesterday (by the Congress) before the Supreme Court which has rejected it and instead said that the Congress should prove its numbers when the floor test is held....
“When the alternative coalition has a clear majority and they have written to and presented themselves before the Governor, there is no scope of inviting a minority in a democracy. The principle of democracy is to have a government of a majority and not a minority,” Jaitley said.
He also said that the Congress had not even staked its claim of forming a government in Goa and had past midnight only thrown a letter into the Raj Bhawan premises to seek time from the Governor