Goa Assembly: Opposition Walkout in Lok Sabha as Parrikar prepares for floor test

Amid allegations of horse trading and ‘stealing’ mandate Manohar Parrikar is all set to take oath of office for a third term

Hardnews Bureau Delhi 

As the heat of the political turmoil in Goa reaches Delhi the Congress along with NCP and RJD staged a walkout in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday protesting against the Governor’s decision to invite the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to stake claim instead of Congress which had a bigger mandate than the BJP in the 40 member assembly.  Earlier in the day, giving some relief to Congress on its petition to stop the swearing-in ceremony of Manohar Parrikar as the next Chief Minister of Goa the Supreme Court gave a 48-hour time frame to BJP to prove majority on the floor of the house. Governor Mridula Sinha had initially given 15 days to BJP to claim the majority in the house. 

As Congress is miffed over the continuous denial from the Governor Mridula Sinha to meet the members of Congress delegation being led by Digvijay Singh, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi accused BJP of misusing the governor's post. ''We had written her a letter on the night of March 12 itself, but in spite of that, the Governor did not give us any time. Our objection is that in spite of established conventions and principles without listening to us, the single largest party, she invited Manohar Parrikar for swearing-in. This is where we object. We wanted to meet her to lodge the complaint” said Singh. 

Rahul Gandhi also alleged that the BJP used "money power" to expropriate power in Goa to steal the mandate despite winning just 13 seats four less than what Congress scored. 

Expressing that the ‘Congress complains a bit too much’ Finance Minister Arun Jaitley refuted the allegations by the Congress about BJP ‘stealing’ the mandate in Goa and Manipur. In a Facebook post, the Minister who now also has the additional charge of Defence Ministry said, “In a Hung Assembly post-poll alliances will be formed. The BJP managed to form an alliance and presented to the Governor 21 out of 40 MLAs. They appeared before the Governor in person and submitted a letter of support. The Congress did not even submit a claim to the Governor. It had only the support of 17 MLAs.” 

Both the BJP and Congress failed to cross the magic numbers of 21 in Goa resulting in a hung assembly. Immediately after the results, BJP began meeting with the leaders of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and Goa Forward Party (GFP)—who have won four seats each — who lend their support on a condition that Manohar Parrikar is the CM designate. Parrikar who is scheduled to take the oath of office for the third time vacated his portfolio and Rajya Sabha seat to take the reins from former CM Laxmikant Parsekar. Parrikar will now have to contest the election within next six months from one of the constituencies, speculations are high over his choice of the seat between Mapusa and Panaji.   

(With inputs from UNI)