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Jaitley dismisses Congress claim of stealing Goa mandate

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2017,16:22 IST By anju A A A

New Delhi | Dismissing the accusation of Congress that BJP was ‘stealing’ mandate in Goa, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said it’s “a bit too much” as the Governor could not have invited minority of 17 MLAs to form the government.

“The Congress Party complains a bit too much. It accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (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 in a facebook post.

In view of the claim of 21 MLAs led by Manohar Parrikar, the Governor could not have invited the minority of 17 MLAs to form the government, he said, adding that “there are several precedents which support this decision of the Governor”.

In the recently held assembly elections in Goa, BJP bagged 13 seats, while Congress got 17 seats in a house with a strength of 40. However, BJP staked claim to form the government on the basis of support from 8 other MLAs.

Governor Mridula Sinha had invited Parrikar to form the government after he produced letter of support of 21 MLAs.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court refused to stay the swearing in of Parrikar as the Chief Minister of Goa and ordered a floor test on March 16.

Accusing the Governor of acting in a partisan manner, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today told reporters: “In the two states where we won, democracy has been undermined by them (BJP) using financial power, money. That is what is happening. The mandate of the people of Goa and Manipur has been stolen by the BJP.”

Jaitley responded by saying that the Goa Governor had only one claim of 21 MLAs out of 40 elected MLAs with Manohar Parrikar as their leader, while the 17 MLAs of Congress did not even make a claim nor elected their leader.

“How could the Congress ever be invited to form the Government?” Jaitley questioned.