SC to hear Cong plea on Goa govt formation

'Guv duty-bound to call single largest party'

SC to hear Cong plea  on Goa govt formation

The Congress on Monday moved the Supreme Court challenging Goa Governor Mridula Sinha’s decision to invite the BJP to form the government in the state despite it being the runner-up in the recent Assembly election.

Newly elected Congress legislature party leader in Goa, Chandrakant Kavlekar, in a petition filed before the apex court, prayed that the governor was duty-bound to invite the single largest party to form the government.

The petition is expected to come up for hearing before a special bench on Tuesday morning.

Manohar Parrikar, who resigned as Defence Minister to return to Goa, is scheduled to be sworn in as chief minister on Tuesday evening.

Senior counsels Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi are scheduled to appear on behalf of Kavlekar.

The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)  were engaged in an intense slugfest to form governments in Manipur and Goa that had elected hung Assemblies with the Congress accusing its arch-rival of “stealing the elections”.

In Manipur, the BJP elected N Biren Singh as the leader of its legislature party and was poised to get an invite from Governor Najma Heptullah to form the government.

Outgoing Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh met the governor and staked claim to form the government by virtue of being the leader of the single largest party.

But Heptullah may rule in favour of the BJP which has given letters of support from
regional outfits to claim majority. “A party that has come second has no right to form the government. The BJP is stealing elections in Goa and Manipur,” said P Chidambaram, former finance minister and senior Congress leader.

Guv’s role
As they lost the numbers game, the Congress leaders questioned the role of the governor contending that the single largest party should have been invited to form the government in Manipur and Goa.

“We were only two seats short of majority. The single largest party is given the first option. It is incompetent on the part of the governor,” senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily said.

The BJP hit back at the Congress saying it had “genuine numbers” to form the government in Manipur and Goa.

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