Exulting over the Manohar Parrikar government winning the trust vote in the Goa Assembly today, the BJP said the Congress, which was outmanoeuvred in the coastal state, should not "preach" the saffron party on the government formation exercise.
"There have been 50 incidents like this (government formation). Madhu Koda was one such case in Jharkhand. Those who have carried out such experiments should not sermonise us, it is wrong," Union minister Nitin Gadkari told reporters here, responding to queries on the Congress' claims of wrongdoing by the BJP to come to power in Goa.
Rubbishing the allegations of horse-trading, Gadkari said ministerial berths were offered to the MLAs of other parties during negotiations to garner support. "No one is sadhu-sanyasi (saint) in politics," he said.
"This (Parrikar being invited to form government, despite BJP securing less number of seats than the Congress in the recently concluded Goa Assembly polls) is not against democracy. There have been precedents of smaller parties coming together to form government and not the largest party," the Union Shipping Minister said.
Gadkari termed Goa Governor Mridula Sinha's decision to invite Parrikar to form the government as "rational". "The Governor's decision was rational and was about who can provide a stable government," he added.
In an obvious reference to the Shiv Sena's barb that what happened in Goa was a "murder of democracy", Gadkari said, "Where is the murder of democracy in this? Is it unconstitutional and undemocratic to take support of Independents? It is obvious (to offer
ministries)...Politicians want power. Every party wants power. When two parties come together, ministries are given."
He claimed that the Congress in Goa was divided on the issue of leadership. "They did not leverage on the opportunity and missed out. They neither met the Governor to show their numbers nor staked a claim to form government.
"They could not decide on a leader and missed the bus. They could not contact their high-command, the high-command could not decide. I do not want to comment on this.
"Congress was not called (to form government) because they did not stake a claim. Even the Supreme Court questioned them about it," he added.
Gadkari claimed that the Congress was "frustrated and disappointed" at not being able to form the government in Goa, despite being "so close" and added that this had prompted the party to level such allegations.
"We should not take them (the allegations) seriously," the BJP leader said.