Parrikar likely to resign as India's defence minister

Posted March 15, 2017

Finance minister Arun Jaitley has justified Goa governor Mridula Sinha's decision to invite a coalition led by the BJP instead of the Congress, the largest party, to form the ministry in the state.

Congress, which also emerged as the largest single party in the north-eastern state of Manipur, is questioning the right of BJP to form a coalition government there with the support of regional parties.

Sinha's invitation to the BJP ostensibly rests on that party hastily submitting letters of support from smaller parties - the MGP and the Goa Forward Party with three MLAs each - and three independents to claim a majority in the House.

On 9 December, the Congress government in Manipur created seven new districts by splitting the existing nine districts, taking the total to 16.

Insisting that the Congress should have been invited to form the government since it is the single largest party with 28 seats, Singh said they could have proved majority had a floor test been called.

In Goa and Manipur, the saffron party was second in the assembly election results 2017, but with the help of allies, the party was in an advantageous position to form a government.

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India's main opposition party Congress suffered another jolt after failing to secure four out of five state elections, as the Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected its petition to stay the swearing-in of the new BJP government in Goa.

He will be sworn-in at Raj Bhavan at 10.30 a.m., the sources said. "Our political opponents (BJP), despite losing the mandate of the people, have tried to misrepresent to your good-self that they enjoy the majority support of legislators". The BJP has no first claim in Goa because it has only 13 elected members in a House of 40 while the Congress has 17. Parrikar will take oath later today. "Victory and defeat are common in democracy", said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, adding that "people have not forgotten the BJP's corrupt governance".

To support the governor's move, Jaitley also cited an example of March 1988 when president K R Narayanan invited Atal Behari Vajpayee to form the government. "Their mettle has been proved by these results and it is high time that they all must fall in line", the BJP leader opined.

"I appreciate Parrikar's deep commitment and love for the soil of Goa, but he should be sporting enough to accept the fact that the BJP has received drubbing under his leadership", he said.

But it was not yet clear whether Robindro has moved on his own or got the clearance of his party supremo West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.