NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stay the swearing-in ceremony of BJP leader Manohar Parrikar as the next Goa Chief Minister and directed Governor Mridula Sinha to go ahead with the floor test on March 16.
Chief Justice of India J S Khehar, during a special bench hearing, said, “There will be no stay on today’s swearing in ceremony but Governor should make sure all formalities to be completed by March 15 and majority should be proved by March 16 at 11 am.”
The special hearing was held during the Holi vacations at the apex court.
The long heated arguments, led by senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi for Congress, failed to convince the bench that Governor Sinha did not give Congress party the chance to form government in the state despite being the single largest party.
On this, CJI Khehar said, “Where is the number, where is the name of people supporting you? Where are their affidavits? You should have approached with all this to Governor before and now when you (Congress) have come here all these things are still lacking in your plea.”
The court was hearing an urgent plea filed by Goa Congress Legislative Party leader Chandrakant Kavlekar, who had sought a stay on the swearing-in of Parrikar as the state's next chief minister.
The Congress has claimed in its plea that it should be invited first to form a government in the state since it won the highest number of seats in last week's results.
During the hearing, the grand old party also alleged that the BJP was engaging in horse trading and violation of established constitutional practices.
The bench also pulled up Congress for undermining a governor’s authority to call the shots on government formation in a state and repeatedly questioned as to why the party had not approached Governor Sinha earlier to stake the claim for forming the government.
Parrikar is scheduled to be sworn in as the chief minister at 5 pm.
Congress won 17 of the 40 seats in the Goa Assembly, BJP won 13 seats but got the support of three Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party MLAs, three Goa Forward Party MLAs and two Independent legislators for government formation.