Congress, which won 17 of Goa’s 40 seats, only approached Governor Mridula Sinha, by which time the BJP had already cobbled a majority. Having emerged as the single largest party in Goa, how the Grand Old Party frittered away its chances of forming government in the coastal state will continue state will continue to torment its leaders for some time.
While the party’s top leadership squarely put the blame on state Governor Mridula Sinha for “not allowing it to form the government in the state,” the latter turned the tables on local leaders saying they derailed their own prospects of government formation.
Interestingly, the Congress leaders, who suddenly woke up from their slumbers after seeing the power slipping out of their hands, finally rushed to meet the governor and pressed their claims. A top Raj Bhavan source said, “Even today, the Congress came without a formal application and a list of those supporting the party to form the government was still missing. Everything was verbal based on which their claims are redundant”.
The SC stood by Sinha’s decision to invite Parikkar, who quit the top central post to take the reins of the state. “Where are your numbers? You could have finished the case in 30 seconds by showing they (BJP) don’t have the numbers. It seems you were not confident about the support you have. You should have asked the Governor what nonsense she is doing and confidently said look we have the numbers. You should have sat on a dharna. You did nothing. Why did you come here?” CJI Khehar asked senior advocate and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi who had represented the party.
On the allegations of Congress, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said, “The Congress has no moral right to criticize the BJP. What the Governor has done in Goa is within the constitutional spirit. We have the numbers. They could not even select or elect the leader, they could not gather the numbers. Still they are protesting and walking out here.”
Chandrakant Kavlekar, the Goa legislature party chief of the Congress, moved to SC challenging the governor’s decision to invite the BJP to form the government, claiming that it violated the “established constitutional practice” of inviting the single-largest party in a hung Assembly. The court went to the extent of asking why the Congress approached it while it should have rather convinced the governor.
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