The Supreme Court on Tuesday morning refused to stay the swearing in of BJP’s chief minister candidate Manohar Parrikar and ordered a floor test in the Goa Legislative Assembly on March 16. At the evening, Parrikar took oath as the Goa CM for the fourth time.
Along with him, MGP’s Sudin Dhavalikar, Pandurang Madkaikar, Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte, Independent MLA Govind Gawade, GFP’s Vijay Sardesai and MGP’s Babu Ajgaonkar took oath as ministers. Goa Governor Mridula Sinha administered the oath of office to Parrikar at the Raj Bhavan.
However, earlier the apex court was listening to a petition filed by the Congress challenging the Goa governor’s decision to invite the BJP to form government in the coastal state.
A special bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said in its ruling, “You (Congress) don’t have the numbers and that’s why you didn’t claim to form government… You haven’t demonstrated before the governor that number is in your favour.”
Dismissing the Congress party’s petition, the top court then directed Goa Governor Mridula Sinha to hold floor test at 11 AM on March 16 and made it clear that the only business of the House would be the holding of floor test after swearing in of the members.
Meanwhile, after taking oath Parrikar took a dig at Congress asking why it didn’t go to the Governor if they had ‘support’. He said: “If you had the support then why did you not go to the Governor? The support extended to BJP to form govt in Goa is only for Goa’s development. No MLA wanted to support Congress. I agree the mandate is fractured, but with 22 MLAs together the vote share is more than sufficient. Its post poll alliance.”
Parrikar replaced Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar. Parrikar has been Goa’s Chief Minister thrice before and has been credited with strengthening the BJP in the coastal state. He has been a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) since a young age and is an alumnus of the IIT-Bombay. His first term as the Goa Chief Minister was from 2000 to 2005 and his second term began in 2012.
Seventeen MLAs of the Congress Party on Tuesday made a last ditch attempt meeting Governor Mridula Sinha at 1:30 pm requesting her to postpone the swearing-in ceremony of the BJP led government. Even as the security protocol, and arrangements were in full swing at the Raj Bhavan with the gates opening for fans and carpets, and with the road to the Raj Bhavan at Dauna Paula lined with posters of Amit Shah, Narendra Modi and Manohar Parrikar, the Congress Party moved the Supreme Court for a possible intervention.
Stepping out of Raj Bhavan, Luizinho Faleiro, state president of Goa Congress, said “we have a majority with us and we will prove it. We just need the opportunity.”