Congress gets Supreme Court rap, Manohar Parrikar test tomorrow

Laxmikant Parsekar

Mr Parrikar mocked the Congress for its anger with leader Digvijaya Singh who is being accused by party legislators in Goa of mismanagement."They came in a bus, because if they came in cars, one or two cars would have disappeared", said the new Chief Minister, alleging that Congress legislators are frustrated enough to exit their party. Following the meeting, the party is expected to stake claim to form government as it has the won the maximum 17 seats in the state assembly elections, All India Congress Committee secretary Girish Chodankar said.

In Goa, the Congress was outsmarted by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which won only 13 seats but managed to cobble a majority by garnering the support of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and the Goa Forward Party (GFP) with three lawmakers each and two of the three elected Independent MLAs. In Goa, a sitting Chief Minister not being able to retain his own seat has created a huge embarrassment for the BJP in its efforts to return to power.

"What the BJP has done in Manipur and Goa is their ideology ~ and that is what we are fighting", he charged. Then why was Manohar Parrikar trying to subvert it? Given the fact that Karnataka has seen a "turnover" of the ruling party in every successive election in the last 35 years, the task becomes even more challenging for the Congress.

"Singhvi insisted on the floor test immediately on Tuesday or on Wednesday staying the swearing-in of Parrikar, but the Court disagreed to interfere in the Governor's decision to invite Parrikar to take oath and ordered the floor test on March 16 only after the 'formalities"' of constituting the new House are completed by the Election Commission.

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He had also rejected speculations that some Congress MLAs would be moving to the BJP camp. However, a reported delay on part of Congress leadership to stake a claim to form government meant that the BJP sent in its senior minister and master strategist Nitin Gadkari to stitch a working majority, a task he accomplished pretty well. BJP stealing elections in Goa and Manipur. To remain Chief Minister, he has to win 21 of 40 votes. Moreover, there is nothing in the Constitution that mandates that only the single largest party must be invited to form a government; the principle now very clearly is to invite the party which can offer the possibility of a stable government.

But if he has been cleared by Mamata Banerjee, it would signal a softening of her stance towards the BJP that has been marked by bitter animosity, especially since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's controversial demonetisation move.

Joykumar, who served as the former director general of police at a time when hundreds of extra-judicial killings allegedly took place in the state under the Congress regime, joined the BJP, only leave to it in the run up to the assembly polls after he was denied a ticket from the Uripok constituency. A Congress of an earlier era would have embraced a Sarma or a Sardesai as their future but a High Command-led feudal party which is comatose has little space for those who wear their ambitions on their sleeve.

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