BJP must prove its majority in Goa House on March 16: SC

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supreme-court1In a move to defuse a crisis of sorts, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on March 14 was directed to go in for a floor test in Goa on March 16 by the Supreme Court on a petition filed by the Congress.

At the same time, the SC disposed of a plea by the Congress to stay the swearing in ceremony of Parrikar as Chief Minister of Goa scheduled on March 14.

The SC asked the Governor to summon the House for conducting the floor test and complete all formalities for the floor test latest by March 15.

After the floor test, the SC will decide and appoint the senior most MLA as protem speaker.

It may be noted the Congress has 17 legislators, BJP has 13 MLAs, the MGP 3, the GFP 3, the NCP 1 and Independents 3 in the 40-member Goa Assembly.

Reacting, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi attacked the BJP for polarising voters and using money power in the recently concluded assembly elections.

Democracy was undermined by them using financial power and money, alleged Gandhi. His remarks came minutes after the Supreme Court refused to stay Parrikar’s swearing-in ceremony in Goa.

The petition was filed by Congress Legislative Party leader Chandrakant Kavlekar who sought that swearing of Manohar Parrikar as chief minister have stayed until BJP proves its majority in the House as the single largest party. the Supreme Court asked the Congress party where are the numbers.

Kavlekar appealed to the SC that the move by Governor Mridula Sinha—to invite Manohar Parrikar to form the government—violates the basic tenets of the Constitution.

With the issues of formation of Manipur and Goa governments likely to disrupt Lok Sabha proceedings, the SC asked the Congress as to why it did not approach the Governor first (over government formation).

Parrikar submitted a list of 21 MLAs; 13 BJP MLAs, 3 MGP MLAs, 3 Goa Forward Party MLAs and two Independent MLAs; before the Governor to support his claim to form the government.