The Goa assembly elections 2017 are done, but as far as politics in the state is concerned, it is not dusted yet. Allegations of dirty politics is flying thick and fast as the largest party emerging after the announcement of results by the Election Commission is crying foul over not being invited to form the government. The Congress won 17 seats to Bharatiya Janata Party’s 13 and yet the Governor Mridula Sinha invited the saffron party and has allowed it chief ministerial candidate, Manohar Parrikar, to be sworn-in today. This was because the BJP was the first to meet the governor with affidavits of support from 21 MLAs (assembly has a total of 40 seats) and it was granted the chance to prove its majority. Congress, which says that it went to meet the Governor before everybody else says that the she did not meet them as it was a holiday and the place was closed for all business. With all this uncertainty, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, himself an advocate of repute, took to Facebook to try and prove BJP right and Congress wrong. Here are 5 points, in Jaitley’s Facebook post, he provided to bolster the BJP case:
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1. The Assembly Elections in Goa produced an inconclusive verdict. There was a Hung Assembly. Obviously in a Hung Assembly post-poll alliances will be formed. The BJP managed to form an alliance and presented to the Governor 21 out of 40 MLAs.
2. They (BJP) appeared 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.
3. In the face of claim of these 21 MLAs led by Mr Manohar Parrikar, the Governor could not have invited the minority of 17 MLAs to form the Government. There are several precedents which support this 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 support of Congress was invited to form the Government.
There are other precedents on the same lines available in 1952 (Madras), 1967 (Rajasthan) and 1982 (Haryana).
4. The debate between the largest single party lacking majority versus a combination of parties constituting a majority was answered by the former President Shri KR Narayanan in his communiqué in March, 1988 when he invited Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee to form the Government. The President had said “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.”
5. The Governor in Goa had only one claim of 21 MLAs out of 40 elected MLAs with Shri Manohar Parrikar as their leader. The 17 MLAs of Congress did not even make a claim nor elected their leader. How could the Congress ever be invited to form the Government?