AMN / PANAJI
Senior BJP leader Manohar Parrikar was sworn-in as the new Chief Minister of Goa today. Goa Governor Mridula Sinha administered the oath of office and secrecy to him and other cabinet ministers at a ceremony at Raj Bhavan in Panaji. BJP national President Amit Shah, Union Ministers Venkiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari, J P Nadda and others attended the function.
The apex court said that the BJP has shown the support of 21 out of the 40 newly elected MLAs. It also ordered conducting of the floor test on Thursday.
The apex court has directed that all pre-requisites for holding the floor test be completed by tomorrow, including the formalities required by the Election Commission and putting in place the senior most member in the Assembly as the protem speaker.
It said, all the issues raised in the petition by Goa Congress Legislative Party leader Chandrakant Kavlekar can be resolved by a simple direction of holding a floor test.
A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar held a special sitting as the apex court was on a Holi vacation. The bench requested Goa Governor Mridula Sinha to summon the House at 11 AM on March 16 for the floor test. It said, no other business apart from holding the floor test will be conducted after the swearing-in of the members.
The bench, also comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R K Agrawal, refused to interfere with the decision of the Governor. The court took on record the Goa Governor’s letter to Mr Parrikar stating that besides BJP’s 13 MLAs, the party has the support of three members each of the regional parties Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and Goa Forward Party and two independent members taking the tally to 21 in the 40-member House.
During the hearing, the bench found fault with Congress for not raising the issue before the Governor. It said the party instead rushed to the apex court without the affidavits of the elected members of the regional parties and independents that are supporting the Congress.
The BJP has won 13 seats and the Congress has 17 in the house. Goa Forward won 3, MGP has 3 and three were independents. NCP has one seat. The Congress claims it has the numbers.