The Congress on Monday moved the Supreme Court challenging Goa Governor Mridula Sinha’s decision to appoint Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Manohar Parrikar as the chief minister of the state.
The hurriedly filed petition late in the evening was mentioned at the residence of Chief Justice J S Kehar, who agreed to give an urgent hearing on Tuesday.
A special Bench would be constituted for the hearing as the apex court is on Holi break for a week.
The petition filed by Goa Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Chandrakant Kavlekar has sought a stay on the swearing-in of Parrikar as the chief minister. The petition has also sought quashing of the decision of the governor to appoint Parrikar as the chief minister. The petition, filed by advocate Devdutt Kamath, is likely to be argued by senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi and has made the Centre and Goa as the parties.
The Goa CLP leader has argued that the Congress emerged as the single largest party in the polls and under constitutional convention, the governor was bound to invite the single largest party to form the government and give it the opportunity to prove majority in the floor test. It said the decision of the governor was blatantly unconstitutional and illegal, arbitrary and violated the basic features of the Constitution. He added that the decision was hastily taken by the governor on Sunday.
Further, the advocate said it was wrong on the part of the governor to invite the BJP-led alliance for government formation as there was no pre-poll alliance.
In the 40-member House, the Congress has 17 MLAs, followed by the BJP with 13, the MGP (3), the GFP (3), the NCP (1) and Independents (3).
Parrikar had on Sunday submitted evidence before governor, the support of 13 MLAs of the BJP, 3 MLAs of the MGP, 3 of the Goa Forward Party and two Independent MLAs thus having a total strength of 21 MLAs in the 40-member Assembly.
With the BJP staking claim to form governments in Goa and Manipur, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said the governor was constitutionally right in case of a hung verdict in inviting the leader of the majority coalition.
“In a hung Assembly, if a majority of the elected MLAs form a coalition, the governor would be constitutionally right in inviting the leader of the majority coalition to form the government and prove their majority within a short period,” Jaitley tweeted.
Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla has asked incumbent Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh of the Congress to submit his resignation, so that the process of formation of the next government can be started. N Biren Singh was elected unanimously as the leader of the BJP Legislature Party and met Heptulla to stake claim to form the next government.