New Delhi: After the happenings in Karnataka, a seemingly united opposition has mounted an unexpected counter-charge against the BJP in four states – Goa, Bihar, Manipur and Meghalaya.
In Goa, the Congress has, going by the logic of Karnataka governor – asking the largest party to prove majority in the House before giving a chance to a coalition of parties - decided to meet the Governor on Friday and stake claim to form the government. Congress had won the maximum 17 out of 40 seats in the Assembly elections held last year.
Similarly, in Bihar, the leader of opposition and the RJD leader, Tejashwi Yadav has offered to parade the MLAs of his party – which secured most seats in the assembly elections held in 2015 – before the Governor. RJD won 80 out of 243 seats in the Assembly polls held in 2015.
"Same situation happened in Bihar when we went to Governor to stake claim. Governor gave us time a day after. If given an opportunity tomorrow, we will still clear the floor test," RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav told News18.
Tejashwi also questioned why Yeddyurappa was given 15 days by the Governor when he had asked for only seven days to prove his majority.
"I have got appointment with Governor tomorrow at 1 pm. I will be going and Congress will support us. We will provide the letter of support to the Governor," said Tejashwi.
In Manipur, former chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh has also staked claim to forming the government and will meet the governor.
Meanwhile, Congress is also preparing a similar strategy for Meghalaya where, in the recently held Assembly polls, it won the maximum seats: 21 in the 60-member Assembly.
In Meghalaya, Manipur and Goa, the Congress had emerged as the single largest party but the BJP had formed the government after making post-poll alliances.
Sources said that the Congress Goa in-charge Chella Kumar is about to leave for Goa to prepare for the meeting with Governor and get his MLAs together.
All this is happening while Congress and JD(S) members, who were till a few hours ago camping outside the office of the Karnataka Governor, Vajubhai Vala, are being moved to resort at different locations.
Talking to News18, former Goa CM and a senior leader of the BJP, Laxmikant Parsekar, described the state Congress’ move as a “opportunistic exercise.”
“Where were they for the last 15 months? They failed to put up a name for the Chief Minister for the first 3-4 days and now they’ve suddenly woken up,” Parsekar said.
However, Sanjay Jha, senior Congress leader and party spokesperson, said that his party was just following the precedent set by the Governor in Karnataka.
“We were denied a chance by the Governor in Karnataka to prove our majority. The Governor gave the chance first to the largest party – the BJP – to prove its majority. Now why shouldn’t the same principles then apply to Goa?” Jha said.
Senior Congress leaders in Goa, in a press conference held in Panaji, said that their party was ready to prove its majority in the state.
“No government is functioning in the state. The Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar, has constituted a cabinet advisory committee, which is unheard of. He hasn’t passed on the charge to anyone,” Congress leaders said in the press conference on Thursday afternoon.
Arguing the merits of Congress’ claim, senior BJP leader and South Goa BJP MP Narendra Savoikar told reporters on Thursday that situation in Goa and Karnataka cannot be compared.
“You cannot compare two states on one similar line. In fact, it differs from state to state and the scenario in Goa was different from what it is in Karnataka.”
But what complicates the argument for the BJP at this moment is not just Congress’ claim to form government in Goa. The ruling BJP coalition in the state – constituted of two other parties and three independent MLAs – has been feeling the pangs of unrest by its coalition partners.
Hinting at the disquiet within the ruling coalition, just a couple of days back, Vijai Sardesai, the chief of one of the two parties supporting the BJP - Goa Forward Party (GFP) – recently told reporters, “You can’t wish away the regional parties. Look at the results in the Karnataka elections and the impact of the JD(S). You cannot undermine the importance of regional parties in politics.”
The BJP party president, Amit Shah, has while reacting to the developments, declared that his party will complete its full five year term in the state.