Congress cites Karnataka decision to stake claim to form govt in Goa
In the Assembly elections held in February 2017, the Congress had bagged 17 seats, becoming the single largest party in the 40-member House but falling short of the majority figure by four seats.india Updated: May 17, 2018 21:14 IST
Seeking adoption of the Karnataka example in Goa, the Congress on Thursday decided to stake claim to form government in the state, where it had emerged as the single largest party in the Assembly polls held last year.
Congress Legislature Party chief Chandrakant Kavlekar said the party will stake claim on Friday by submitting to governor Mridula Sinha a formal letter containing signatures of all the 16 MLAs that the party has now.
Kavlekar said the Goa governor should follow the precedent set by her Karnataka counterpart and invite the single largest party to form the government “correcting her mistake of March 12, 2017”.
In the Assembly elections held in February last year, the Congress had bagged 17 seats, becoming the single largest party in the 40-member House but falling short of the majority figure by four seats.
The BJP, which had bagged 13 seats, firmed up an alliance with Goa Forward Party and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, both of which had secured three seats each, and also took support of three Independents.
Subsequently, the Goa governor had invited the BJP-led coalition to form the government.
The Congress currently has 16 members in the Goa Assembly as one of its legislators Vishwajeet Rane joined the BJP last year. Rane later won the bypoll from Valpoi Assembly constituency on a BJP ticket.
“We have 16 legislators with us and with that strength we are the single largest party in the (Goa) Assembly. The governor should invite us to form the government in Goa as per the precedent set by her Karnataka counterpart,” Kavlekar, the Leader of Opposition in the Goa Assembly, said.
Goa Congress chief Girish Chodankar said the governors cannot have two different sets of rules.
“While in Karnataka, the governor has invited the single largest party, in Goa too, the same precedent should be followed,” he said.
He was referring to the decision of Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala to invite the BJP to form the government after the Assembly election results declared on Wednesday.
The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats in the Karnataka Assembly, was invited by the governor despite the JD(S)-Congress combine staking claim by citing the support of 117 MLAs.
The Congress won 78 seats and the JD(S) 37. The majority mark is 112 seats as polling was not held in two seats in the 224-member Assembly. The House also has a nominated seat.
When pointed out that the Congress needs support of at least 21 legislators to stake claim in Goa, he said that once the governor swears in the Congress chief minister, he will be able to prove his majority on the floor of the House.
“The numbers will have to be proven on the floor of the House and we have that with us,” he said.
However, he did not specify how the party would muster the majority.
Chodankar said his party was confident of getting the majority without poaching upon the BJP camp.
“We will prove our majority on the floor of the House within a day. We have the required numbers,” he told PTI.
He added that if the governor asks the Congress, the party is even ready to parade the MLAs supporting it.
The Congress is giving an “opportunity to the Goa governor to rectify the mistake which she did last year,” he said.
The BJP-led government in Goa is headed by Manohar Parrikar, who is currently undergoing treatment in the US for a pancreatic ailment.
Kavlekar said that in the absence of the chief minister in the state for the last two months, there is no governance in place.
“The Congress will be able to provide a stable government in Goa,” the CLP leader claimed.
First Published: May 17, 2018 21:13 IST