Cong moves SC against Guv's decision, hearing tomorrow morning

Dhananjay Mahapatra, Times of India, New Delhi | 13 March 2017 21:42 IST

Leader of Congress Legislature Party in Goa, Chandrakant Kavlekar on Monday night moved the Supreme Court challenging Governor Mridula Sinha's decision to invite Manohar Parrikar-led BJP to form the government despite Congress being the largest party in the state after elections threw up a hung assembly.

The petition filed through advocate Devadatt Kamat and Gautam Talukdar was mentioned late on Monday evening before CJI J S Khehar for urgent hearing as the court is closed for a week for Holi festival.

Agreeing with the urgency of the plea, the CJI agreed to set up a special bench on Tuesday to hear Kavlekar's plea seeking setting aside of Governor' decision to appoint Parrikar as the chief minister of Goa.

With the oath taking ceremony scheduled for March 14, Parrikar may have to wait for SC hearing on Kavlekar's petition, which sought quashing of Governor's decision to invite BJP led by Parrikar to form government.

Top legal brains of Congress, including senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, drafted the petition which said the Governor by appointing Parrikar as CM has violated established constitutional practices as BJP has won just 13 seats as against 17 by Congress, which emerged as the single largest party in a hung assembly thrown up after recent elections.

The state Assembly has a strength of 40 MLAs.

Kavlekar said the Supreme Court's Constitution bench had severely criticised Bihar Governor Buta Singh for not inviting the single largest party led by Nitish Kumar in a situation where the elections had not ensured majority to any party though JD (U) had emerged as the single largest party.

  

 He also said that the Sarkaria Commission on Centre-State relations in a federal structure has recommended that single largest party must get the invitation to form the government to eliminate political manoeuvering by Centre through governor.

"BJP, which has only 13 MLAs in the Assembly, in order to get over the mandate of the people which has thrown it out of power, has, using its political clout in the Centre, sought to claim that it has the requisite majority with the purported help of certain smaller powers," Kavlekar said.

"As per well established constitutional norms and conventions, the single largest party ought to have been given an opportunity to form the government and prove its majority.

However, the Governor with her hasty decision on March 12 has appointed Manohar Parrikar as the CM and has invited the BJP (which has only 13 MLAs in the legislative Assembly) to form the government and scheduled oath taking ceremony on March 14," he said.

"The entire object of this hasty night political maneuvering by the powers that be is to defeat the mandate of the people and to somehow grab power by misusing the office of the Governor," Kavlekar said terming the Governor's decision to appoint Parrikar as CM as unconstitutional.

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