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Congress is crying ‘Goa again’, but this is why they are not going to court again

The Congress party, which was unable to convince regional parties to join a government led by them in Meghalaya, has landed itself in yet another humiliation. The Congress president tweeted about how the BJP managed to form a government with just two members.

Meanwhile, the new government headed by Conrad Sangma was sworn in today in Meghalaya. The Prime Minister congratulated the new Chief Minister and his team.

If this government is indeed undemocratic as claimed by Congress, why has it not approached the Supreme court as it did in February 2017, when they similarly cried about ‘murder of democracy’ over government formation in Goa?

We must also note that the Congress did not go to court after Manipur government was formed a month later. To answer this, we need to know what happened to the case that was filed by Congress.

After Manohar Parrikar was appointed Chief Minister of Goa in February 2017, the Congress party filed a petition in the Supreme Court. In the court, the judges dismissed the case by saying that there was nothing they could do in the matter as the governor had the discretion in appointing a Chief Minister if there was a fractured verdict.

As per reports by the website Live Law, Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice Gogoi had trashed arguments of the Congress side, represented by Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

CJI Khehar had remarked : It is very clear from our Arunachal Pradesh judgment that the Governor has a discretion in situations like this.

Justice Gogoi had said : You did not demonstrate to the Governor that you have the numbers. Convention of inviting single largest party is subject to numbers.

As per the report, the CJI had also remarked that if nothing happens in case of a fractured mandate, then the governor has to invite the single largest party. If someone is claiming the numbers, and largest party doesn’t object to the claim, then governor can invite that coalition to form a government. The CJI also added that the Congress party had not submitted any affidavits to the governor.

Supreme court remarks on petition filed by Congress regarding Governors inviting BJP to form a government (emphasis added)

This judgement will deter not only the Congress but also any other party that will cry foul when a coalition government is formed excluding the party with highest number of seats in an assembly election. The governor has the right to exercise discretion and appoint a government that is likely to have numbers in a floor test.

The Congress is well aware that the current coalition sworn in Meghalaya has the numbers and the government formation is in line with constitutional provisions. Thus it has restricted itself to social media rhetoric and not a legal battle.

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