The Supreme Court snub to the Congress party over formation of the new government in Goa has come as a boost to the beleaguered BJP accused of subverting Goa’s fractured mandate in its favour.
A special bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar, gave no relief to the Congress party on the grounds that it has failed to prove that it has the requisite support to form the government. The court dismissed the Congress petition with the instruction that the new BJP-led government must prove its majority on the floor of the new Assembly by Thursday.
It has cleared the decks for Manohar Parrikar to be sworn-in as Goa chief minister this evening along with an expected 12 ministers which will have fair representation from BJP’s post-poll allies Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Goa Forward party and three Independents.
BJP, while welcoming the apex court ruling, has said it is ready to prove the majority on Thursday.
Th newly-elected Goa Assembly is likely to have its first meeting on Thursday. Floor test will be done after new legislators are administered oath by a pro-tem Speaker.
Goa Governor Mridula Sinha, while inviting BJP legislative party leader Manohar Parrikar to form the new government, had asked him to prove his majority within a fortnight.
Smarting under the Supreme Court snub, the Congress party tried to put up a brave face by terming the court advancing the floor test as its victory and that Parrikar will be Goa chief minister for just two days. The big question, however, remain whether and where the Congress party will get the requisite numbers to topple the Parrikar government.
According to indications, the Congress party itself may witness a split as a section among its legislators are unhappy with the manner the party wasted time and remained indecisive, allowing the BJP to contact MGP, GF and three Independents and staking claim.
Vishwajit Rane, who along with his father and six-term Goa chief minister Pratapsingh Rane, are among the 17 Congress legislators, who have already protested and aired their views. There are indications that some others may also rebel. It is not yet clear whether they will form a new party or join hands with the BJP.
The dilemma that dogged the Congress party is reflected in the fact that they took two precious days to elect Chandrakant Kavlekar who won the Quepem seat. The party knocked at the Supreme Court on Monday evening even before seeking appointment with the state governor.
Kavlekar is set to meet the governor at 1.30 pm on Tuesday and is expected to stake claim less than four hours before the oath-taking ceremony takes place at 5 pm on the same day.
Ironically, Congress general secretary in-charge for Goa, Digvijaya Singh, has been camping in Goa since Saturday. His presence did not help the party taking swift decisions. The inordinate delay proved disastrous for the party and may dash its hopes of ruling Goa.
Updated Date: Mar 14, 2017 13:12 PM