It will be Narendra Modi government versus Congress in Parliament on Wednesday. The Rajya Sabha will discuss the conduct of Goa Governor Mridula Sinha over her decision not to invite Congress- the single largest party to form government after the recent assembly polls which threw up fractured mandate. Deputy Chairman P J Kurien had announced it after Congress leader Digvijaya Singh wanted to know the fate of his notice for a substantive motion to discuss to the issue. The discussion was listed on March 22 but since that day was inconvenient to the minister concerned, it was postponed. Now it is listed for March 29, Kurien said. BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah achieved historic wins in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The party had also managed to form governments in Goa and Manipur following fractured mandates.
Singh had moved a substantive motion under Rule 168 after Goa Governor invited the BJP rather than the Congress, which had emerged as the largest party in the assembly polls, for the government formation. In the 40-member Goa assembly, the Congress had got 17 seats and the BJP had won 13 seats. The BJP then tied up with smaller parties and showed its majority. During the vote of confidence in the assembly, it got 22 votes.
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Singh, who was in-charge of the party’s affairs in Goa, had alleged that the Governor had gone against the established practice and constitutional propriety.
Today, when the House met for the day, Singh said his substantive motion on the conduct of the Goa Governor, who “chose to ignore” the single largest party by inviting the BJP to form government in the state, was admitted but no date has been given for a discussion.
“Now I am being asked to change the substantive motion into a short duration discussion,” he said. “I will not accept (that).”
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said the Chair has not asked him to change the motion.
Before taking up a discussion, the Leader of the House has to consult the Chairman and the time has to be fixed, Singh said.
He said when Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was Leader of Opposition, the then UPA government had accepted his demand for a debate on the conduct of the then Bihar Governor, who had to resign after that.
Kurien said it was true that he had himself advised Singh to bring a substantive motion if he wanted to discuss the conduct of a Governor.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi too had then said that the government has no objection if a substantive motion is brought, he said.
The time and date for a discussion after such a motion is admitted is to be decided in consultation with the Leader of the House, Kurien said.
Kurien went on to quote the rule under which such a practice is followed, after Singh sought to know under which rule should the Leader of the House be consulted for deciding on a time and date for a discussion.
Jairam Ramesh of Congress wanted to know about the fate of the notice for a short-duration discussion he gave on biometric identifier Aadhaar. The matter was listed last week but postponed due to unavailability of Jaitley, he said.
(With agency inputs)