New Delhi/Panaji: The Congress has moved the Supreme Court to challenge BJP taking charge of Goa despite winning fewer seats in the just-concluded assembly elections. The Congress will seek a stay on Manohar Parrikar's swearing-in as Goa Chief Minister scheduled today.
- Special hearing in Supreme Court tomorrow of Congress petition
- Congress to demand stay on Parrikar's swearing-in tomorrow
- Parrikar resigned as Defence Minister today to head back to Goa
The petition has been filed by Goa Congress which says Governor Mridula Sinha's decision to invite the BJP to form the government is "illegal". The single-largest party should have been asked to for the government, it says. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the petition today. In a letter to the Governor on Monday evening, the Congress once again asked for the swearing-in to be scrapped.
Mr Parrikar declared on Monday that he has resigned from PM Narendra Modi's council of ministers to go back to his home state where he was chief minister earlier. The incumbent BJP with 13 seats claims to have support of eight other legislators needed to cross the majority mark. Mr Parrikar will have to prove his majority in the assembly within 15 days of swearing in. He will also have to get elected to the state legislature within six months. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will also handle the Defence Ministry.
The BJP had been invited to form the government despite coming second to the Congress which has won the most seats - 17 - but not enough to form the government - the target is 21.
The BJP's former ally the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party or MGP with three seats offered their support to the party on condition that Mr Parrikar will head the government. Another regional party Goa Forward, which also won three seats, has provided its support along with two independents.
The Congress has accused the BJP of "murdering the democracy". Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, in a tweet, said, the "BJP is stealing elections in Goa, Manipur. Party that comes second has no right to form government."
Rejecting the Congress' claim, the BJP leader GVL Narsimha Rao said, "We secured 4 per cent more popular votes than the Congress, we also have legislative majority to form government."