Manohar Parrikar must take a trust vote on Thursday to prove he has a majority in the assembly.
Panaji: Manohar Parrikar took oath as the new Chief Minister of Goa on Tuesday, but he must take a trust vote on Thursday to prove he has a majority, the Supreme Court ruled, in a big setback for the Congress, which was also criticized for its actions by judges. The BJP was invited to form the government in Goa despite winning fewer seats in the election than the Congress. That decision - taken by Governor Mridula Sinha - was challenged by the Congress in court. The Congress won 17 seats in the election; the BJP won 13, but secured the support of small regional parties.
Here are the latest developments in this big political story:
The Congress told the Supreme Court that Governor Sinha's decision to invite the BJP to form the government is "illegal" and a "blatant unconstitutional action" because the party that won the most seats should get first shot at forming the government.
Speaking to NDTV, Mr Parrikar said last evening "I have done no wrong. The Congress did not even have the numbers." In a blog, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, "The Congress did not even submit a claim to the Governor." The Congress disagrees - senior leader Digvijaya Singh said that the Congress wrote to the Governor on Sunday, asking for the chance to prove its majority, but was not granted an appointment.
"If you had the numbers, you would have held a dharna (protest) at the Governor's house," the Supreme Court said on Tuesday, adding that the Congress' petition to judges also does not have evidence that it has the needed support.
Courts are on holiday, but Chief Justice of India JS Khehar and other judges heard the petition on account of its political urgency.
In election results announced on Saturday, the Congress won 17 seats and the BJP was second with 13. Both were short of 21, the minimum number of seats needed in the 40-member Goa assembly to form government.
The BJP moved swiftly to secure the support of regional parties Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party or MGP and Goa Forward and some Independent legislators and had by Sunday evening met the Governor to stake claim. The new allies had one condition - the BJP's Manohar Parrikar should be Chief Minister.
Manohar Parrikar said on Monday that he had resigned as Defence Minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet to return to his home state and to the post he held before he was called to Delhi.
Rahul Gandhi accused the BJP of buying support. "The mandate of the people has been stolen," he said. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, who has charge of BJP's Goa affairs retorted, "The Congress was busy in Goa with five to six candidates claiming leadership. So they did not have time to discuss with alliance partners."
Several newly-elected Congress MLAs or legislators are livid that the party's state leadership did not move fast enough to get the support of four legislators that it needed. "It is miserable and horrible...people trusted the Congress and voted for us...we get a clear 17 seats and we still couldn't manage to form government... we are the laughing stock," said Jennifer Monserrate, a Congress leader elected from Taleigao (North Goa).