The subject of Goa crept into a discussion on the budget in Rajya Sabha Thursday, with Congress MP Shantaram Naik regretting the “mistake” of not staking claim earlier in a proper manner. “I agree that it was one of our mistakes. We could have gone to the governor and shown the 17 people to prove majority. There we have faulted. But it does not mean that the governor can shirk her responsibility of inviting [the single largest party],” Naik said.
“It is learnt that the governor of Goa has given an interview to a leading daily that nobody from the Congress came to me, so I rang up Mr Jaitley,” Naik said.
In the interview, published in Mumbai Mirror, Governor Mridula Sinha is quoted as saying that after Manohar Parrikar had shown up with his supporters but the Congress hadn’t, “… I felt I should speak with Arun Jaitley, and I called him around 9.30 in the evening, discussing the situation. I informed him I had verified the numbers… He said that if any party comes with the numbers, it has to be considered. So that settled it.”
“How does Mr Jaitley come into the picture in the matter of formation of government?” Naiks said in Rajya Sabha. “I can understand if Shri Nitin Gadkari comes, as he came in a private aircraft at midnight and the midnight operation was done. But the question is: how had this thing happened? As per a certain convention and also the Supreme Court’s order, the leader of the largest single party should have been called.”
BJP members objected that he was raising Goa when the discussion was on the budget. Naik insisted he could raise the issue. “I would not have mentioned it — the formation of government is also a constitutional aspect and we cannot shirk that responsibility.”