Congress gets Supreme Court rap, Manohar Parrikar test tomorrow

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SC said all contentious issues raised by the Congress can be resolved by a “simple direction” of holding a floor test.

New Delhi/Panaji: Manohar Parrikar was on Tuesday sworn in as Goa Chief Minister for the fourth time after the Supreme Court bench gave its clearance, rejecting the Congress’ plea to stay the oath-taking. The Congress, on its part, breathed fire with its vice-president Rahul Gandhi accusing the BJP of “stealing” the people’s mandate and “undermining democracy” with the use of money power.

While giving its decision on Goa, the Supreme Court said all contentious issues raised by the Congress can be resolved by a “simple direction” of holding a floor test that has been ordered for March 16. The bench found fault with the Congress for not raising the issue of number of MLAs supporting it before the Governor and also rushing to the apex court without the affidavits of members supporting the Congress. “It would not have taken more than 30 seconds, ” the bench said.

Singvi finds fault with Goa Governor
A bench headed by Chief Justice J.S. Khehar, which held a special sitting as the apex court was on a Holi vacation, requested the Goa Governor to summon the House for the floor test for which the session will commence at 11 am on March 16 and no other business other than holding the floor test will be conducted after the swearing-in of the  members.

While ordering floor test, the bench noted the submissions of Goa CLP leader  Chandrakant Kavlekar’s counsel and senior advocate Abhishek Mani Singhvi who assailed the Governor’s determination to invite Parrikar to form the government by  “seriously disputing” the factual position and terming it as a “misrepresentation of fact”.

Differences also erupted within the Congress on how the Goa issue had been handled. Many Congress leaders, including the party’s Rajya Sabha chief whip Satyavrat Chatur-vedi, criticised the delay in garnering support from other MLAs in Goa, where it lost out to the BJP in the race to form the government despite being the ‘single largest party.

Earlier, Goa Congress took all its newly-elected 17 MLAs to the Raj Bhavan and met Governor Mridula Sinha to seek an opportunity to prove majority in the Assembly but could not get any assurance from her.

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