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Parrikar returns, Cong in race, SC to hear petition: 5 updates on Goa politics

In the 40-member House, the Congress has 17 MLAs, followed by the BJP with 13, the MGP (3), the GFP (3), the NCP (1) and Independents (3).

assembly elections Updated: Mar 14, 2017 10:32 IST
New Delhi/Panaji
Manohar Parrikar,Goa assembly,Goa elections
Manohar Parrikar briefing media in Panaji on Saturday after results of the Goa assembly elections results were declared. Also seen are (L to R) former CM Laxmikant Parsekar and Union minister for Ayush (MoS) Shripad Naik in Panaji.(HT Photo)

The Supreme Court will hear on Tuesday a Congress petition to stall Manohar Parrikar’s swearing-in as the Goa chief minister. The former defence minister is expected to be sworn in as the CM in a ceremony later in the day. The BJP said it had the support of 21 MLAs, the exact number needed to prove majority in the 40-member House. The assembly polls had thrown up a hung verdict, with the BJP bagging 13 seats as against 17 won by the Congress.

Goa assembly
  • In the 40-member House, the Congress has 17 MLAs, followed by the BJP with 13, the MGP (3), the GFP (3), the NCP (1) and Independents (3).

In a last-minute attempt, the Congress urged Goa governor Mridula Sinha on Monday to invite the party to form the next government since it emerged as the single largest party after the assembly election results. The Congress Legislative Party will meet Sinha around 10am on Tuesday to stake claim to form the next government in Goa. The Congress, which until Sunday had failed to muster the numbers, said it had the requisite support of MLAs.

Here are the top 5 developments in the Goa power play

Parrikar returns

Over two years after he quit as the CM of Goa to become the defence minister, Manohar Parrikar was set to take over the coastal state’s mantle again as the head of a BJP-led government. The decks were cleared for Parrikar, with President Pranab Mukherjee accepting on Monday his resignation as defence minister and assigning additional charge of the ministry to finance minister Arun Jaitley. Earlier in the day, Parrikar resigned to head the Goa government.

Parrikar sent a faxed letter of resignation to the Prime Minister’s Office ahead of the oath-taking ceremony, expected to be held at Goa’s Raj Bhavan at 5pm on Tuesday. Goa governor Mridula Sinha asked Parrikar to prove majority on the floor of the Goa Legislative Assembly 15 days after taking oath.

8-9 ministers to be sworn in

“Around eight to nine ministers including two each from the Goa Forward Party and the Maharashta Gomantak Party and two independents will be sworn in. Two or three ministers from BJP (including Parrikar) too will take the oath,” BJP’s Goa unit president Vinay Tendulkar told PTI.

Union Minister for Roads Nitin Gadkari and Union Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar along with BJP MLAs and alliance partners (MGP/Goa Forward) and Independents during their joint meeting to announce forming of government in Goa. ( HT Photo )

“Among the BJP legislators, (current) deputy CM Francis D’Souza and another legislator whose name would be announced tomorrow (Tuesday) morning will be sworn in,” he said.

Tendulkar, however, added that from BJP only Parrikar and D’Souza might be sworn in. “That possibility cannot be ruled out,” he said, “Three or four ministerial berths would be filled in the cabinet expansion later.”

Opposition cries foul

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a tweet: “The Prime Minister says that they would become more humble after victory. Abduction of an MLA in Manipur and haggling for power in Goa! We bow to Modiji’s humbleness.”

In another tweet, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said that a party that comes second has no right to form the government.

“BJP is stealing elections in Goa and Manipur,” Chidambaram said.

Congress challenge

The party moved the Supreme Court challenging Goa Governor Sinha’s decision to appoint BJP leader Manohar Parrikar as the chief minister of the state. The hurriedly filed petition late in the evening was mentioned at the residence of Chief Justice J S Kehar, who agreed to give an urgent hearing. A special bench would be constituted as the apex court is on Holi break for a week.

Goa CLP leader Chandrakant Kavlekar argued that the Congress emerged as the single largest party in the polls and under the constitutional convention, the governor was bound to invite the single largest party to form the government and give it the opportunity to prove majority in the floor test.

It said the decision of the governor is a blatantly unconstitutional action and is illegal, arbitrary and violative of the basic features of the Constitution.

Jaitley’s reply

Jaitley said the governor was constitutionally right in case of a hung verdict in inviting the leader of the majority coalition.

“In a hung assembly, if majority of the elected MLAs form a coalition, the Governor would be constitutionally right in inviting the leader of the majority coalition to form the government and prove their majority within a short period,” Jaitley tweeted.

First Published: Mar 14, 2017 08:10 IST