The Rajya Sabha was disrupted earlier Friday when Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh alleged that Goa Governor Mridula Sinha committed ‘gross constitutional impropriety’ in the light of the BJP forming a coalition government in the state.
Singh said he wanted to raise the issue under rule 267 so that proceedings of the listed business of the House be suspended in order to discuss it. To which, PJ Kurien, deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha, objected and said, “A Governor can be discussed here but only on the basis of a substantive motion. So 267 I cannot allow…why don’t you move a substantive motion?”
Following Singh, other Congress leaders such as Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma also rose to demand a discussion on the issue. They also trooped into the Well of the House, shouting slogans such as ‘Loktantra ki hatya band karo, band karo’ (Stop the murder of democracy).
BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the government is ready for a discussion if the Congress brings a substantive motion.
Singh, who was the central observer in Goa after the election results threw up a fractured mandate, has alleged that the Governor did not invite the Congress to stake claim to form the government in spite of being the single-largest party in the Assembly. However, the BJP which has formed a government under Manohar Parrikar, said Singh and the Congress were lethargic and slow to reach out to the regional parties such as the MGP and the GFP and in the process lost out in getting a majority. While the Congress got 17 seats in the 40-member Assembly, the BJP was second with 13 seats. Parrikar on Thursday successfully won the floor test in the Assembly securing votes of 22 MLAs.
“They didn’t have the numbers on day one, or when they went to court. Even when they went to the floor test today, they had one less than 17. We have succeeded in debunking Digvijaya Singh’s claims,” said Parrikar.
The Congress party also suffered a rebellion when one of its MLAs, Viswajit Rane, abstained from voting and later resigned from the primary membership of the party. He attributed his actions to the ‘disgusting failure of the Congress in Goa.’