GUWAHATI: After a day-long drama, Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh resigned on Monday evening after the BJP and its allies called on Governor Najma Heptulla to seek her invitation to form the government. The delegation was led by the newly-elected leader of the BJP legislature party N Biren Singh. Earlier on Sunday, the Governor had asked Ibobi to step down so that the process of formation of the next government could be initiated.
As both the Congress and BJP have claimed that they have the numbers to form government, it remains to be seen as to who gets the invite from the Raj Bhavan. While the Congress emerged as the single-largest party in the 60-member House with 28 seats, the BJP came second with 21 seats, but claimed to have total support of 33 MLAs. “We emerged as the single largest party and hence, we should be invited to form the government,” said Ibobi. But the Chief Minister-in-waiting, Biren Singh, claimed the support of 33 MLAs - 21 from BJP, four each from the NPF and the NPP and one each from TMC, LJP and the Congress, besides an Independent. The Congress MLA, Shyamkumar Singh, defected to the BJP on Sunday. He will soon resign and contest the by-elections on a BJP ticket.
Meanwhile, heat of the political action was also felt in Panaji and New Delhi as the BJP moved swiftly to capture the State Assembly that witnessed a fractured mandate. While former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who quit on Monday, is set to take the oath of office and secrecy on Tuesday as the Goa Chief Minister, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was given the additional responsibility of the portfolio.
Irked by the development, despite having emerged as the single-largest party in the State by winning 17 seats in the 40-member House, the Congress moved the Supreme Court on Monday for an urgent hearing on the situation in Goa. The CJI has agreed to set up a special bench to hear the plea on Tuesday.
The petition says Governor Mridula Sinha’s decision to invite the BJP to form the government is “illegal”.
“The single largest party should have been asked to form the government,” the petition said. “Parrikar did not even contest election. No one knows if he is popular among the people of Goa. This is murder of democracy in broad day light,” said Congress’ Priyanka Chaturvedi in a TV interview.
The incumbent BJP, with 13 seats, claims to have the support of eight other legislators needed to cross the magic mark. Parrikar will have to prove his majority in the Assembly within 15 days of swearing in. He will also have to get elected to the State legislature within six months.
(With inputs from New Delhi)