Congress dangles SC sword at Governor

Last Updated 16 May 2018, 20:17 IST

The Congress on Wednesday said it was exploring legal options if Governor Vajubhai Vala did not invite the Congress-JD(S) coalition to form the government.

Congress leaders claimed that its coalition with the JD(S) had the requisite numbers to provide a stable government and cited precedents in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya where the respective Governors had invited the post-poll allies to form governments.

“We are observing the situation very closely, we hope that the Governor should and will act as per the Constitution,” senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.

He said denial by the Governor to call the Congress-JD(S) combine even after asserting the numbers will be illegal, unconstitutional and contrary to the Supreme court judgement in the context of the government formation process in Goa after the Assembly elections last year, which was challenged in the Apex Court.

“We hope and trust politics will not trump legality and morality. If it happens, we have no other option but to seek legal recourse,” Singhvi said.

The Congress was already holding consultations with its lawyers and preparing the ground to move court in case the Governor does not invite JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy to form the government.

“All options remain open to the Congress,” Randeep Surjewala, in-charge of the AICC Communications Department said when asked what the party would do if the Governor invited the BJP to form government.

The Congress is relying heavily on the Supreme Court judgement on the petition its legislature party leader in Goa Chandrakant Kavlekar, who had challeged Governor Mridula Sinha’s decision to invite BJP leader Manohar Parrikar to form the government despite the BJP finishing second in the Assembly elections in March last year.

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar had rejected Kavlekar’s petition and ordered a floor test, saying that the “instant sensitive and contentious issue… can be resolved by a simple direction, requiring the holding of a floor test at the earliest”.

Appearing on behalf of Kalvekar in the court, Singhvi had contended that since there was no pre-poll alliance, the Governor should have first asked the single largest party – the Congress – if it was in a position to form the government.

(Published 16 May 2018, 19:20 IST)

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