Why is Congress complaining? BJP doing nothing illegal in sewing up numbers to form government

By: | Updated: March 14, 2017 11:50 AM

BJP has staked claim to form government in Goa and Manipur.

There are allegations that BJP has indulged in horse trading. (PTI)

BJP has staked claim to form government in Goa and Manipur. Congress is crying foul and accusing BJP of stealing the elections. Congress is saying that, “A party that comes second has no right to form the government”. There are allegations that BJP has indulged in horse trading. So what’s wrong with that, it has happened in the past as well. Whenever there has not been a clear majority, the other party has indulged in horse trading. Constitutionally also horse trading is not illegal. Though the matter is with the Supreme Court, it is questioning the Congress as to why they didn’t go with real numbers to the Governor?

No doubt the Congress had a majority at the initial stages but for political parties to stitch numbers by hook or by crook is common. And Congress has indulged in dirtier tricks to stitch a majority for itself on several occasions on a wholesale basis. In the case of Manipur and Goa, it is a case of a few MLAs. Constitutionally also horse trading is not illegal. And Goa has witnessed formation of 22 governments since its liberation from the Portuguese rule in 1961, with five spells of President’s Rule, totaling 639 days of central rules, reflecting how politically fragile Goa has been over the years. Rebellions, splits and horse-trading of legislators, has been as much part and parcel of Goa as its sun-soaked pristine beaches. So nothing new there.

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The comments of the former finance and home minister, P Chidambaram came after the BJP staked claim to form the government in Goa and Manipur — where it failed to emerge as the single largest party — with the support of smaller parties and some Independents. In both these states, the Congress has emerged as the single largest party in the assembly elections results of which were declared on March 11. BJP defeated Congress, which has more numbers, by tying up with Goa Forward Party, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (both of whom have three MLAs), independent Rohan Khaunte and BJP-supported independent Govind Gaude. The saffron outfit has 13 MLAs in the 40-member Goa assembly while Congress has 17. But as long as BJP has been able to grab numbers, what is wrong with them forming the government? The hearing is on at the Supreme Court and SC is questioning the Congress party as to why they did not approach the governor.

In Manipur, BJP submitted a list of 32 MLAs – claiming a majority of two in 60-member assembly – to governor Najma Heptullah on Sunday and furnished letters of support from regional parties.

BJP, which won 21 seats, claimed the support of National People’s Party (4 MLAs), Naga People’s Front (4), LJP (1) and two others – lone independent Ashab Uddin and T Robindro Singh, who was elected on a Trinamool ticket. In fact, neither the Supreme Court nor the governor can do anything if a party is able to show numbers.

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