Congress, RJD cite Karnataka decision, to stake claim to govts in Goa, Bihar

The Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Thursday said they will ask governors in Goa and Bihar to invite their parties to form governments in the state, speaking afer the BJP came to power in Karnataka despite not having majority in the assembly.

The Congress said it had the “strength” to form a government in Goa and pointed at Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala who invited BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa to take over as chief minister after his party got the most seats in elections but fell short of a majority.

The Congress won 17 seats in the 40-member Goa assembly and emerged as the largest party in Goa elections in March 2017, falling short of the majority figure by four seats. The BJP, which got 14 seats, formed the government in alliance with the Goa Forward Party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), which had won three seats each. Three Independent MLAs supported the BJP too.

Chandrakant Kavlekar, chief of Congress legislature party in Goa, said Governor Mridula Sinha should follow the precedent set by her Karnataka counterpart and invite the single largest party to form the government and “correct her mistake of March 12, 2017”. The Congress will give Sinha a letter containing signatures of 16 party MLAs, reported news agency PTI.

Kavlekar was referring to the Governor Vala’s decision to invite Yeddyurappa to form the next government after assembly election results on Tuesday saw the BJP emerging as the single largest party with 104 seats in the 222-member Karnataka Assembly.

A combine of the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) too had staked its claim for forming a government by citing the support of 117 MLAs. The majority mark in Karnataka assembly is 112 seats.

“We have 16 legislators with us and with that strength we are the single largest party in the (Goa) Assembly. The governor should invite us to form the government in Goa as per the precedent set by her Karnataka counterpart, said Kavlekar, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the Goa Assembly.

“The numbers will have to be proven on the floor of the House and we have that with us,” he said when he was asked the Congress needs the support of at least 21 legislators.

“While in Karnataka the governor has invited single largest party, in Goa too, the same precedent should be followed, he said.

Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar is being treated in the US for a pancreatic ailment and because of it there is no government in the state, said Kavlekar.

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav too wanted the Bihar governor to invite his party to form a government in the state, citing results of the November 2015 elections.

“We would be holding a 1-day dharna tomorrow against the murder of democracy in Karnataka. We also request the Bihar Governor to dissolve the state government & like in Karnataka invite the single largest party, which in #Bihar is the RJD,” he said on Twitter.

The RJD fought the elections in alliance with Janata Dal (United) or JD (U) and the Congress, emerging as the single largest party. In July 2017, JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar broke the alliance and tied up with the BJP to continue as chief minister.