Even the Supreme Court couldn’t save the INC

The Goa assembly election results gave a clear picture. Though no party gained the golden number to form the Government, the people clearly voted against the incumbent BJP Government. The INC securing 17 seats in the 40-member Assembly emerged as the single largest party. For the BJP, six of the eight sitting ministers including the CM lost the election. What happened overnight was a huge surprise. The BJP, which had just 13 MLAs, came forward claiming majority to form the Government and that too with the Defence Minister of India, Mr. Manohar Parrikar as the CM. As the Governor invited Parrikar to form the Government, the INC took the right step in moving to the Supreme Court of India. But what followed was a clear disappointment.

The Supreme Court of India standing by the opinion of the Governor of Goa allowed Parrikar to take oath as CM and prove his majority in the floor of the house. This is not a welcome decision from the Apex Court.

As clearly pointed out by renowned jurist, Fali S. Nariman:

The Governor is under a constitutional duty to first invite the leader of the single largest party in the State, whether or not he or she is the first to stake claim.

This view of Nariman was supported by the MM Punchhi Commission which says,

The party or combination of parties which command the widest support in the Legislative Assembly should be called upon to form the Government.

The Justice Sarkaria Commission too was of the opinion that,

In case of a hung assembly, while selecting the chief minister, an order of preference should be followed- first, the leader of a pre-poll alliance and then the leader of the single largest party that stakes claim with the support of others.

The fact whether the Congress would have succeeded in proving majority was a totally different matter. What is of relevance is that it should have been the Congress which should have been invited to form the Government initially. If done so, the picture in Goa might have been a completely different one today.