Updated: March 14, 2017 8:17:35 pm
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 Dona 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.”
He added, “Soniaji is a rare example of sacrifice in democratic world, had a chance to be PM twice but she chose Dr Singh… We have told all like minded MLAs and parties that we are ready to sacrifice, please join us.”
Faleiro gave a written submission to the Governor saying the mandate is against the BJP. “We have given a written submission and have requested her excellency to study our side. We are the single largest party to have secured highest number of votes. We have also informed the BJP did not have a pre-poll alliance with any other party. Give the straight mandate to us, the results were against the BJP. They lost the mandate, their Chief Minister and seven of their ministers too lost it. The whole manner in which they have formed a post poll alliance is mounting defeat to people’s mandate,” he added.
Backed by Digvijaya Singh, and AICC Goa Desk nodal Dr Chella Kumar, the impromptu press briefing right outside Raj Bhavan also made for a rare photograph, with Digambar Kamat, Luizinho Faleiro and Pratapsingh Rane standing together, and asking for a floor test. The three leaders and former chief ministers were being named as fighting for the position of the CM candidate, which was first quelled by Luizinho who on Monday said he is not looking to become the Chief Minister.
Faleiro, and Babu Kavlekar speaking on the various attempts made to seek an appointment with the Governor had a briefing on the attempts made in writing since March 12.
“She should have invited us as per the convention and procedure of the Constitution and now this is inviting us in deference of the Supreme Court order,” Luizinho added.
The Congress Party has relied heavily on the Sarkaria Commission report which emphasis on the single largest party having the right to be invited first. “The Governor does not have the authority to take a head count. The Head Count is not done here,” he said pointing to the gates of the Governor House. “The counting is done in the legislative assembly.”
Explaining the delay of meeting the Governor, the party put the blame on Raj Bhavan denying all the allegations from the BJP camp that they never kept time or sought an appointment to stake claim. “We had a CLP meeting planned on the night of March 11. The results itself were announced till as late as 8:30 pm making it difficult for us to conduct a meeting. We met on the morning of March 12 and sought an appointment in the evening. A letter is not required, as per the convention, practice and process, the Governor according to the constitution and law is supposed to meet the single largest party. We came till these very gates on March 12 but the office informed us that being a holiday they can’t take our letter. There were attempts made again. We wrote a letter yesterday, too, seeking to apprise her that the party has gone to Supreme Court. Still she had not given an appointment. WE finally met her at 1:30 pm today,” Luizinho Faleiro.
Babu Kavlekar, who has been made the CLP chief said, “we have told her it’s injustice against us and it has been brought to her notice of not having invited us to put our side.”
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