Major Setback for BJP as SC orders floor test in Goa assembly
In a major setback to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which was all set to form the government in Goa under former defence minister Manohar Parrikar's leadership, the Supreme Court on 14 March, 2017 ordered a floor test in the state assembly.
The floor test will most likely take place prior to Parrikar's swearing-in this evening.
This development came after the Congress moved the apex court challenging the scheduled swearing-in of Parrikar.
During the hearing, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Congress, alleged that the BJP was indulging in horse-trading and violating the established constitutional practices.
He asserted that the Congress was not even consulted once on the formation of next government in the state.
The Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) J.S. Khehar, observed that numbers should determine the single largest party in the state.
The apex court further told the Congress that it should have gone to Goa Governor Mridula Sinha rather than raising the matter before the judiciary.
Senior advocate Harish Salve represented the Central Government during the hearing in the apex court, which ordered a floor test.
Governor Sinha had invited Parrikar to form the next government in the coastal state after he submitted a letter of support of 21 legislators.
Three MLAs of the Goa Forward Party, three of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and two Independents have pledged their support to Parrikar.
The BJP, which won 13 seats in the 40-member Goa Assembly, managed to garner support from other parties and Independents to attain majority under Parrikar.
The Congress won 17 seats in the recently concluded polls.