Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Home News Reports Should the single largest party be invited to form the Govt? Not according to...

Should the single largest party be invited to form the Govt? Not according to history

As the tussle over the BJP moving to form the government in Goa grew, the Congress was dealt a blow by the Supreme Court on Tuesday after it refused to stay the oath taking ceremony of Manohar Parrikar. SC ordered a floor test in the Goa Assembly on 16th March instead. This decision comes after the Congress had challenged the Goa Governor’s decision to invite the BJP to form the government.

Congress’ contention was that as per the existing convention, the single largest party is invited to form the government, which it contended should have been the Congress. Congress has won 17 seats while BJP won 13 seats in Goa assembly elections where support of 21 MLAs is needed for a majority.

But what do the rules or convention say? Does the single largest party have some sort of a perpetual right of getting called to form the government? The Supreme Court dismissed the Congress’s petition by stating that:

You (Congress) don’t have the numbers and that’s why you didn’t claim to form government… You haven’t demonstrated before the governor that number is in your favor

Apart from this logic, the precedence on a possible course of action if no party won a majority was set by K.R. Narayanan when he was the President of India.

In 1998, after the 12th Lok Sabha results were declared, it was found that the BJP was the largest party with 182 seats, followed by the Congress with 141. As per the press release (brought to our notice via this tweet) put out then by the Rashtrapati Bhavan, it was stated that (emphasis added):

When no party or pre-election alliance of parties is in a clear majority, the head of State has, in India and elsewhere, given the first opportunity to the leader of the party or combination of parties that has won the largest number of seats, subject to the Prime Minister so appointed obtaining majority support on the floor of the House within a stipulated period of time. This procedure is not, however, an all-time formula because situations can arise when MPs not belonging to the single largest party or combination can, as a collective entity, outnumber the ”single largest” claimant.

This is exactly the situation in Goa and Manipur today where the Congress is the largest party but the combination of the BJP MLAs and their post poll supporters as a collective entity are not just outnumbering the largest claimant, but are also generating a simple majority.

And as rightly pointed out here, the governors of the two states have invited the largest post-poll group to form the government provided they pass the floor test.

This precedence set by Ex-President KR Narayanan does make a lot of sense. Let’s consider an absolutely hypothetical scenario. Consider there’s a state called RaGasthan which has 20 seats. As the final results come out it is found that independents have won 11 seats, three parties have won 2 seats each, and one party, let’s call it Kungress, wins 3 seats.

So if the norm of inviting the largest party is followed, the Governor blindly invites Kungress even though it just has 3 seats when the majority mark is 11 which is about 250% more than what seats it has currently. As it turns out,  it was found that 11 independents who had won had declared a coalition and could have formed the govt by proving their majority but couldn’t as the governor was busy following the single party norm.

Even a week before the results were declared, a report in Times of India dealt with the same subject of the Governor not being obligated to invite the largest party in-case of a hung house. The article took the opinions of various constitutional experts, who in one form or the other reiterated KR Narayanan’s position. The article concluded that Governor has to apply his or her mind before calling a party to form the government, which is exactly what is being done in Goa and Manipur.

And then there is this controversial and shocking case when BJP was stopped from forming a government in Jharkhand in 2005, despite being the single largest party and largest pre-poll alliance.

Having said all of this, even if Parrikar becomes the CM of the state and manages to run a smooth government, many including its supporters might continue to raise their eyebrows over this maneuver of the BJP. Many are unsure if it is a demotion or promotion of Parrikar, who until now was tasked with the important defense ministry and had done quite a good job in it.

Plus this decision of giving the ministry’s charge to Arun Jaitley (maybe on a temporary basis) who has his hands full with the Finance ministry and the roll-out of the GST might also have its detractors. Also, this rush by the BJP is also in direct contradiction with its stance of not forming the Delhi Government when it was the largest party during the Delhi elections of  2013.

What might explain this behavior of the BJP is the fact that it desperately seeks to someday manage a majority in the Rajya Sabha and the lone RS seat from Goa held by the Congress comes up for elections in July.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Hemant Bijapurkar
Contributor at, Wish to write a great trilogy someday!

Related Articles

Trending now

Forgotten daughter of Uttarakhand: Before Nirbhaya, girl working in Delhi was kidnapped, raped and brutally murdered in Haryana

In February 2012, a 19-year-old girl from Delhi was abducted, gang-raped, brutalised and abandoned to die at a mustard field in Haryana

Law against ‘Love Jihad’ does not violate anyone’s fundamental rights: Smashing the ‘liberal’ arguments with truth

The readers must know that this is not a law against interfaith marriage or any marriage to begin with. Interfaith marriages are and will continue to be allowed in India.

Ex-Bollywood actress Zaira Wasim, who quit showbiz for Allah, asks fans to remove her pics

Zaira Wasim had earlier asked her fans to stop praising her as it is dangerous for her 'Iman'.

While Imran Khan continues his rants against Emmanuel Macron, Pakistan govt expects debt relief of around $300 million from France

Pakistani PM Imran Khan and Pakistan citizens have been dissing about France after Emmanuel Macron criticised radical Islam

When Sonia Gandhi trusted Ahmed Patel for conveying to PV Narasimha Rao’s family that his funeral will not be held in Delhi

Sanjaya Baru had said Ahmed Patel approached him to let PV Narasimha Rao's son know about Sonia Gandhi's message.

BJP releases audio, accuses Lalu Yadav of trying to lure NDA MLAs with offer of ministerial berths after he brings Nitish govt down

In the audiotape, when Paswan said he cannot vote against the party, Lalu asked him to be absent from the assembly on Election Day.

Recently Popular

Hyderabad elections: Owaisi makes ‘beef biriyani’ sly on BJP leaders, Raja Singh offers him pork biriyani

As an insult to BJP leaders, Owaisi had stated that they should have some biriyani at a particular hotel in Hyderabad that is famous for beef dishes.

Anvay Naik suicide case for which Arnab Goswami was arrested: Letters exchanged, the closure report, and unanswered questions

On 4th of Nov, the country watched as Arnab Goswami was dragged out of his house by over 20 armed policemen for a closed 2018 suicide case

Fraud fact-checker accuses TrueIndology of lying, when caught, wants an HD-quality photo from 1904

Pratik Sinha's lies were exposed in an OpIndia report. After his shoddy 'fact-checking' was called out, he has now resorted to name calling and shifting goalposts.

Uttar Pradesh: Golu and Guddu kill driver Mushtaq with an axe for harassing their sister, surrender to police

The brothers, Golu and Guddu, reportedly reached the police station with a blood-stained axe and confessed to killing Mushtaq.

Muzaffarnagar: Yogi govt demolishes illegal construction on 100 Bighas of forest dept land by Islamic preacher Pir Khushal Miyan

A letter written by Union Minister of State Dr Sanjeev Balyan to the DM ordered the authorities to get the land belonging to the forest department vacated at the earliest.

Habitual offender Rehana Fathima given last warning by Kerala High Court after violating bail condition in ‘Gomatha’ cookery video

In the cookery video titled Gomatha Ularthu, Fathima kept referring to the meat as Gomatha. The High Court let her go giving her last opportunity to 'improve'.
- Advertisement -

Algerian-born Muslim cleric Abdul Nacer Benbrika stripped of his citizenship by Australia after convicted of terrorism

Benbrika was convicted of directing a terrorist group, and possessing material associated with planning of a terrorist attack in Australia

Fact-check: No, the government has not issued Rs.1,30,000 to the citizens towards Covid-19 funding

Fake message circulated claims that govt of India has issued Rs.1,30,000 to every citizen above the age of 18 as Covid-19 funding

Fact Check: Did Arfa Khanum Sherwani eat the goat she was petting in the photographs she posted?

Arfa Khanum Sherwani took social media by storm after she posted photographs of herself with a beautiful white goat.

Indian Navy inducts two American Predator drones on the lease, can be deployed on India-China border for surveillance

The Predator drones has been leased from a private company for one year, India plans to purchase 18 such drones from USA

Reservations for SC Christians: How it could affect the prospects of Dalit Hindus

There have been several calls for the inclusion of Dalit Christians in the reservation system meant for SC/St and OBC communities.

Forgotten daughter of Uttarakhand: Before Nirbhaya, girl working in Delhi was kidnapped, raped and brutally murdered in Haryana

In February 2012, a 19-year-old girl from Delhi was abducted, gang-raped, brutalised and abandoned to die at a mustard field in Haryana

UP: Woman given triple talaq for not bringing Rs 20 lakh and a car in dowry

The woman from Rampur has alleged that her husband and in-laws have been harassing her for not bringing Rs 20 lakhs and a car.

China comes to defend Pakistan after PM Modi accused the latter of harbouring terrorists

After PM Modi's remarks against Pakistan, China praised Pakistan for making positive contribution toward counter-terrorism cause

Cyclone Nivar is fast approaching Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and parts of Andhra: All you need to know

Cyclone Nivar is expected to his coastal states in next few hours, currently travelling at 11 KMPH, it may cause severe damage to houses, roads, crops, electricity and communications lines.

Memories of ‘Batta Mohalla’: How the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits continues to haunt the survivors even after three decades

"The genocide of Kashmiri Hindus is a reality that lurks behind our celebrations, marriages, births and deaths."

Connect with us