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BJP confident of proving majority in Goa floor test: Jaitley

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

New Delhi: The BJP is confident of proving its majority in the Goa Assembly during the floor test on Thursday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said as he thrashed "minority" Congress' argument of not being invited to form the government in the state.

Jaitley said with the elections throwing a hung assembly, the BJP quickly cobbled together an alliance of 21 out of 40 newly elected MLAs supporting a government under former defence minister Manohar Parrikar but the Congress with 17 MLAs till date has not elected a leader nor staked a claim to form the government.

To buttress his claim, he cited examples of 2013 assembly elections in Delhi, 2002 polls in Jammu and Kashmir and 2005 Jharkhand elections where the BJP despite being the largest party was not invited to form governments.

"The Congress party has been protesting that it should have been invited by the Governor of Goa to have its leaders sworn. But the Congress party has neither elected a leader nor has it till date made any claim before the Governor of Goa," Jaitley told reporters here.

In a hung assembly, 21 MLAs including 13 of the BJP "clearly" extended support to Parrikar while the Congress was left with only 17, he said.

"So when there is a clear alliance of 21, which is a majority, who appeared in person before the Governor and who have also given written letters of support, how could the Governor have invited a minority when there is a majority claim before him," he said. Asked about the Supreme Court not staying the swearing in of Parrikar as the Goa Chief Minister but ordering floor test on March 16, he said the apex court was "right" as "sooner it (the floor test) happens the better it is, because then there is no horse trading."

"The Supreme Court has said that you immediately establish the majority which is a right verdict," he said.”The BJP is confident that we will establish the majority,"he added.

On Manipur, which has also thrown a hung assembly with the Congress being the single largest party with 28 MLAs in a 60-member house, Jaitley said the BJP will wait for the decision of the Governor. In that state as well, the BJP with 21 MLAs has managed to stitch an alliance and stake claim to form the government. Earlier, Jaitley wrote a Facebook post thrashing the Congress for "complaining a bit too much" and accusing the BJP of "stealing the mandate in Goa."

"It unsuccessfully petitioned before the Supreme Court. It attempted to raise issues in the Lok Sabha," he said. "The 17 MLAs of the Congress did not even make a claim nor elected their leader. How could the Congress ever be invited to form the Government?"

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