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

Vishnu Sukumaran
Manohar Parrikar, Congress, Supreme Court, Goa Chief Minister

Reuters

Congress moved the Supreme Court late on Monday evening seeking a stay on Manohar Parrikar's appointment as Goa Chief Minister. Parrikar has been appointed on the basis of support from several regional parties, and his oath-taking ceremony is scheduled for 5 pm on Tuesday, March 14.

According to reports, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Jagdish Singh Khehar has agreed to set up a special bench for hearing the petition on Tuesday morning.

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Parrikar resigned as Union Defence Minister on Monday morning. President Pranab Mukherjee has also accepted Parrikar's resignation, while Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has been given the additional charge of the Ministry of Defence.

Earlier, Congress leader P Chidambaram had raised the question of how Goa Governor Mridula Sinha could invite a party that had a lower number of seats to form the government.

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The Goa BJP had passed a resolution on Sunday stating that they wanted Parrikar to be chief minister. Possible coalition partners said they would give their support only if he accepted the post. By evening, and without waiting for the governor to make a move, Parrikar himself approached Sinha, sought an appointment, met her and then showed the requisite numbers.

These included all 13 MLAs from the BJP, three MLAs each from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and the Goa Forward Party, and two of the three Independent MLAs in the state. That brings the total to 21 in a 40-member Assembly, thereby giving the BJP the right to stake claim for government formation in the state.

Sinha appointed Parrikar as the chief minister and asked him to prove majority in the state Assembly within 15 days.

Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram was one of the strongest voices in the Opposition against this development. He took to Twitter to say: "A party that comes second has no right to form the Government. BJP stealing elections in Goa and Manipur. [sic]."

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