Seeking a uniform rule for a governor to follow in a hung assembly, the Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar and the Congress in Goa and Manipur on Friday staked claim to form the government, citing the example of Karnataka where the Bharatiya Janata Party was invited after it emerged as the single largest party.
The Congress on Friday staked claim to form government in the state, being the single largest party in the legislative assembly.
The Congress Legislative Party, led by Chandrakant Kavlekar, met Governor Mridula Sinha at Raj Bhavan around noon and submitted a letter seeking an invite to the party to prove its majority on the floor of the House.
The party said it gave the governor seven days to decide on its request.
Fourteen of the 16 Congress legislators were present during the meeting with governor as one of them is out of the country, while another one is hospitalised. The meeting lasted for about 15 minutes.
“We requested the governor to follow the precedent of Karnataka and undo the mistake she had committed on March 12, 2017 when she invited the minority party (Bharatiya Janata Party) to form the government,” Kavlekar said, adding, “We have given a time of seven days to revert to us on our request.”
In the assembly elections held in February last year, the Congress had bagged 17 seats in the 40-member House, but fell short of the majority figure by four seats.
The BJP, which had bagged 13 seats, firmed up an alliance with Goa Forward Party and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, both of which had secured three seats each, and also took support of three Independents.
Subsequently, the governor invited the BJP-led coalition to form the government. The present dispensation is headed by Manohar Parrikar, who is currently undergoing treatment in the US for a pancreatic ailment.
The Congress currently has 16 members in the Goa assembly as one of its legislators, Vishwajeet Rane, joined the BJP last year. Rane later won the Valpoi assembly bypoll on BJP ticket.
“We have all the required numbers with us to form the government in the state. We can prove our numbers on the floor of the House. The magic figure of 21 is there with Congress... even without poaching into BJP camp,” Goa Pradesh Congress Committee chief Girish Chodankar told reporters outside Raj Bhavan.
“In Karnataka, the governor invited the single largest party, hence in Goa too, the same precedent should be followed,” he said referring to the decision of Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala to invite the BJP to form the government after the assembly election results were declared on Wednesday.
The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats in the Karnataka Assembly, was invited by the governor to form government despite the JD-S-Congress combine staking claim by citing the support of 117 MLAs. The Congress won 78 seats and the JD-S 37.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, accompanied by the Congress, Hindustani Awam Morcha and Communist Party of India-Marxist–Leninist leaders, had a meeting with Governor Satya Pal Malik during which he demanded that his party be invited to form a government in Bihar since it was the single largest party and also constituted the single largest pre-poll alliance.
"We met the governor and submitted a memorandum stating that we have support of 111 MLAs, those of my own party as well as our allies -- the Congress and the Hindustani Awam Morcha -- besides CPI-ML. We said that we have 111 MLAs together and if we are asked for floor test, we are confident of winning, as more legislators are likely to vote in our favour," he told reporters outside the Raj Bhavan in Patna.
Yadav, who is the opposition Leader in the assembly, said, "The point we are trying to make is that there has to be one rule in the country. If the Karnataka Governor's decision to invite the BJP on the ground of it being the single largest party was proper, then the same yardstick should be applied to Bihar. The RJD, by virtue of its being the single largest party in the state, should be allowed to form government here."
The RJD was relegated to opposition last year after the Janata Dal-United walked away from the three-party alliance, which also involved the Congress, and joined hands with the BJP to form a new government under Nitish Kumar. Assembly polls in Bihar were held in November 2015.
In the 243-member assembly, the RJD is the single-largest party with 80 MLAs, while the JD-U has 71 legislators and the BJP has 53. NDA constituents Lok Janshakati Party and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party have two seats each. The Congress has 27 MLAs.
A Congress delegation in Manipur on Friday staked claim to form government in the state, Kh Jaikishan Singh, the spokesperson of the party’s state unit, said.
The move comes following the political upheaval in Karnataka where the Congress-Janata Dal-Secular combine protested against Governor Vajubhai Vala’s decision to invite Bharatiya Janata Party’s BS Yeddyurappa to form the government.
Nine leaders of Congress Legislature Party, led by the Opposition Leader in Manipur Assembly and former chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh, met Acting Governor Jagdish Mukhi at Raj Bhavan around noon and staked claim to form government, Singh said.
The Congress had bagged 28 seats in the 60-member House in the 2017 assembly polls and emerged as the single-largest party.
The BJP, which secured 21 seats, had joined hands with regional parties and Governor Najma Heptulla had invited the coalition to form the government.