Image Credit: India Today
Amid the ongoing battle for power between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress in Goa, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday beat the grand-old party, saying that it “complains a bit too much”.
In a Facebook post, Jaitley said Congress, which as the largest single party in the freshly held assembly election in the coastal state, did not even make a claim nor elected their leader. He further pointed out that Goa Governor Mridula Sinha had only one claim of 21 MLAs out of 40 elected MLAs with Manohar Parrikar as their leader. “How could the Congress ever be invited to form the Government? ” he asked further.

Address the Congress for denouncing the saffron party of ‘stealing’ the mandate in Goa, Jaitley said, “It unsuccessfully petitioned the Supreme Court. It pursues to raise issues in the Lok Sabha. What are the facts?.”

“The Assembly Elections in Goa produced an undecided verdict. There was a Hung Assembly. Obviously, in a Hung Assembly post-poll alliances will be formed. The BJP handled to form an alliance and conferred to the Governor 21 out of 40 MLAs. They arose before the Governor in person and submitted a letter of support.

The Congress did not even submit a claim to the Governor. It had only the support of 17 MLAs. The Congress Party protested at the Governor’s decision to invite Mr. Manohar Parrikar to form the Government with the support of 21 out of 40 MLAs and described it as ‘a murder of democracy’,” he continued.

Image Credit: Out Leadership

Elucidate the proposition that why the Governor couldn’t have invited the ‘minority’ group of 17 Congress MLAs to form the government, Jaitley, who was also given the responsibility of Defence Ministry, pointed out several precedents, supporting the decision of the Governor.

Here are the three exemplifications he has listed out to support the decision of the Governor:

“In 2005, BJP won 30 out of 81 seats in Jharkhand. The JMM leader Shri Shibu Soren with a support of 17 MLAs of his Party plus others was invited to form the Government. In J&K 2002, the National Conference won 28 MLAs but the Governor invited the PDP & Congress Combination of 15 + 21 MLAs to form the Government. In 2013 the BJP won 31 seats in Delhi, but the AAP with 28 MLAs with the support of Congress was invited to form the Government.”

Other weighing in on the debate between the largest single party needed majority versus a combination of parties constituting a majority, Jaitley cited the example of former President KR Narayanan, when he had invited Atal Behari Vajpayee to form the government.

“When no party or pre-election alliance of parties is in a clear majority, the Head of State has in India or elsewhere, given the first opportunity to the leader of the party or combination of parties that has won largest number of seats subject to the Prime Ministers so appointed obtaining majority support on the floor of the house within a stipulated time.

This procedure is not, however, all time formula because situations can arise where MPs not belonging to the single largest party or combination can, as a collective entity, out-number the single largest claimant. The President’s choice of Prime Minister is pivoted on the would be Prime Minister’s claim of commanding majority support,” Jaitley quoted the then president as saying.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court today ordered that a floor test will be held on Thursday morning while refusing to stay the swearing-in ceremony of Parrikar. Miffed at the BJP moving ahead and claiming to have the required numbers to form a government, the Congress legislature party met the Governor in the afternoon after she refused to meet them this morning, urging that the swearing-in ceremony is postponed.