Panaji, March 16: Challenging Governor Mridula Sinha‘s decision to appoint Manohar Parrikar as the chief minister of the state, the Congress on Monday moved to the Supreme Court against the governor’s decision. The Congress appealed the apex court to stay the swearing in of Manohar Parrikar as Goa Chief Minister. However, the Supreme Court refused to stay the swearing in of Parrikar as Goa chief minister and ordered a floor test. The floor test in Goa Assembly will be held today.

A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar ruled out that the Goa Assembly session to be called at 11 AM on March 16, adding that the only business of the house would be the holding of floor test after swearing-in of the members.

In the Goa Assembly elections, despite emerging as the single largest party, the Congress has been unable to form the government in the state. Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) along with the support of Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Goa Forward and independent MLAs have formed the government in the state. Former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar took over as the Chief Minister of Goa on March 14.

Casino money to win over MLAs: Congress

The Congress has alleged that the BJP had paid ‘Casino Money to win over MLAs’ in the Goa Assembly. Addressing the media, All India Congress Committee secretary Girish Chodonkar stated that, “More than Rs 1,000 crore they have used. Including the money from casinos. Because casino people were very much there in the Raj Bhavan for the last two days.” He further added, “I will request Parrikar to reveal BJP leaders’ (names), especially Sadanand Tanawde who has been calling up Congress MLAs. Let Parrikar release (the names) if he has the courage.”

Confident of forming the government: BJP

While Congress accused BJP of using Casino money, BJP stated that all the allegations against the party are baseless. Welcoming Supreme Court’s decision, Goa BJP unit General Secretary Sadanand Tanawade stated that the party is confident of forming a government under Manohar Parrikar. “We have the numbers to form the government. We have more than 21 MLAs with us with the support of alliance partners,” he said.

Murder of democracy: Shiv Sena

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena in its mouthpiece Saamna slammed BJP for forming the government in Goa despite not emerging as the single largest party in the state calling it murder of democracy. An editorial in Saamna stated “The ploy that was played in Goa can’t be termed anything but murder of democracy… We wish our democracy the strength to handle such happenings.”

In the Goa Assembly elections, out of the 40 seats, the Congress emerged as the single largest party winning 18 seats in the state. To form the government in the state, the party needs 21 MLAs in its support. While BJP had won 13 seats in the assembly, the party has the support of 3 MLAs each of Goa Forward Party and MGP. Besides this, the 3 independent MLAs have also offered its support to BJP making the total tally of 22.