PANAJI: The Congress today urged Goa Governor Mridula Sinha to invite the party to form the next government by virtue of being the single largest party, a day ahead of swearing-in of BJP leader Manohar Parrikar as Chief Minister.
In a memorandum submitted to the Governor tonight, the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) claimed to have the requisite support and that they can prove the same on the floor of the House.
The development came a day after the BJP members led by Parrikar formally staked the claim to form the next government, following which the Governor appointed Parrikar as the chief minister and asked him to prove majority in House within a fortnight of taking oath.
"Despite losing the mandate of the people, our political opponents (BJP) have tried to misrepresent to your good-self that they enjoy the majority support of legislators. This is not only opportunism at its lowest but is also not constitutionally permissible," Goa CLP Leader Chandrakant Kavlekar stated in the memorandum.
The BJP yesterday said it had the support of 21 MLAs, the exact number needed to prove majority in the 40-member House.
The saffron party has enlisted the support of three members each of the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and the Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party (MGP), besides two Independents while staking the claim.
The Assembly polls had thrown up a hung verdict, with the BJP bagging 13 seats as against 17 won by the Congress.
"Any post-poll alliance of the kind being projected by the BJP to seek the first invitation to form the government would defeat the mandate of the people which has categorically rejected the incumbent government of the BJP.
"Any invitation to the BJP to form the government at this stage without first giving an opportunity to the single largest party (Congress) would mitigate against the essential democratic rights of the people of the state who have chosen the Congress as the single largest party in the state," the memorandum said.
The Congress, which until yesterday had failed to muster the numbers, today said it has the requisite support of MLAs.
"We wish to assure you (Governor) that we have the requisite support of the majority of the legislators and are in a position to prove the same on the floor of the House," the CLP said.
As per the new composition of Assembly post-polls, the Congress has 17 MLAs, the BJP 13, MGP 3, GFP 3, Independents 3, and NCP 1.
Though the lone NCP MLA Churchill Alemao was yesterday said to have backed the BJP, he has not submitted the formal letter of support.
When contacted today, he merely said, "wait and watch".
Earlier today, Parrikar resigned as Defence Minister and will be sworn in as the Chief Minister tomorrow heading the BJP-led ministry which has the support of regional outfits and Independents.
"I have tendered my resignation as Defence Minister and sent it to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). I will be taking the oath tomorrow evening along with the cabinet ministers," he told PTI.