Panaji, March 14: Three days after the election results were announced for the 40-seat Goa Legislative Assembly, the fate of government formation in the state hangs in balance even as former defence minister Manohar Parrikar is headed to the state to take the Chief Minister’s post. Parrikar will take oath as the Goa Chief Minister on Tuesday at 5 pm and has been asked by the Goa Governor to prove majority within 15 days. Parrikar resigned as the Defence Minister on Monday and headed to Goa to take over the responsibility.
Parrikar has said that he has the support of independent parties of Goa and will be forming the government in the state today. “I have tendered my resignation as Defence Minister and sent it to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO),” said Parrikar as quoted by news agency PTI. He further added, “I will be taking the oath tomorrow evening along with the cabinet ministers.”
However, the Congress has filed a petition in the Supreme Court against Parrikar being sworn in as the Goa CM. Governor Mridula Sinha of flouting the norms by giving BJP the first chance to stake claim over the government in Goa. The Congress has questioned the Governor’s decision of allowing BJP to stake claim to form the government despite the Congress emerging as the single largest party in the state. The apex court will hear the plea on an urgent basis on Tuesday.
AFter the March 11 counting, the Congress has emerged as the single largest party in the state with 17 seats, the BJP has 13 seats while Others have 10. It now remains to be seen which party succeeds in its bid to form the government in Goa even as Parrikar is set to be sworn in as Chief Minister today. It also remains to be seen whether the court hearing can have implications on Parrikar’s swearing-in ceremony.
Goa Congress in-charge Digvijaya Singh has said, “Congress had the first right as well as the popular mandate to form government. BJP has hijacked the mandate of people.” Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram also said “A party that comes second has no right to form the government. BJP stealing elections in Goa and Manipur.”
The Congress has also claimed that the current political scenario in Goa depicts the ‘murder of democracy’. Speaking to ANI here on Monday, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that it was the constitutional obligation of the Governor to first discuss the possibility of forming a government with the leading party. “The Governor should first invite the Congress to come forward and provide them an opportunity to consider an alliance with the other contesting parties. However, the Governor has provided an opportunity to parties with fewer votes to form the government. This is a pressure-building tactic by the government at the centre,” he said.