Goa government formation by BJP: Supreme Court orders floor test on March 16 over Congress petition

Arkadev Ghoshal
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The Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 14, ordered a floor test on March 16 in Goa, and not after 15 days, as had been ordered by Governor Mridula Sinha when she appointed Manohar Parrikar as chief minister and invited the BJP to form government. Parrikar is to be sworn in as chief minister of the state later in the day, and the apex court said it would not stop this.

Also read: Supreme Court agrees to hear Congress petition challenging Manohar Parrikar's appointment as Goa CM

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Arguments over BJP conduct

Presenting arguments, counsel for the Congress, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, had alleged that the BJP was indulging in horse-trading in Goa in order to ramp up its numbers and stake claim for government formation. He also said that the BJP was violating constitutional practices in the process of government formation in Goa. 

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The Congress counsel also said that the party with the largest number of seats should have been invited by the governor to form government and prove its numbers. The Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar said that numbers should determine the single largest party in the state.

Does Congress have numbers?

The apex court also took the Congress to task, asking why it had not opposed the BJP forming government in Goa, and how come it had not presented the numbers — both in front of the governor and in court. It said: "You had the entire night. That was the best time to get the affidavits [of support from alliance partners] ready or present your supporters to us."

The Congress has won 17 seats in the Goa Assembly polls, while the BJP has won 13. The halfway mark — reaching which means a party or a coalition can form government in the state — is 21 in the 40-member Assembly. 

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