RJD, Congress to stake claim to power in Bihar, Goa

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Panaji/Patna, May 17 (IANS) The Congress in Goa and the RJD in Bihar on Thursday said they would ask the Governors of their respective states to give them a chance to form governments the same way that BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa was given in Karnataka as leader of the single-largest party.

The Congress central leadership backed the move, saying that there cannot be two sets of rules and two Constitutions in the country while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) termed it “political drama” and “acts of desperation” on the part of Congress.

The BJP also alleged that the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular had confined their MLAs in Karnataka and accused them of playing politics of fear.

Congress Goa unit President Girish Chodankar told reporters in Panaji that if the Karnataka Governor can invite the BJP as the single-largest party to form the new government in the southern state, why can’t Goa Governor Mridula Sinha invite the Congress as per the logic since it was the single-largest party in Goa after the Assembly elections in 2017.

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“Why two criteria for two states? Why double standards?” he asked.

Chodankar demanded that Sinha follow the footsteps of her Karnataka counterpart Vajubhai R. Vala and invite the Congress to form government in Goa.

The BJP won 13 seats in the 2017 Goa Assembly elections, compared with 17 of the Congress. However, after swift political manoeuvering, the BJP staked claim to power with two regional parties and Independent MLAs and formed a coalition government after getting the nod from Sinha.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav too wants Bihar Governor Satyapal Malik to invite his party to form the government as the single-largest party in the assembly.

“I will meet the Governor along with our MLAs on Friday and request him to dismiss the government of Nitish Kumar and invite the RJD to form the government as we are the single-largest party in Assembly,” Tejashwi, who is also the Leader of Opposition, said. The Congress is an ally of RJD in Bihar.

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In Karnataka, Yeddyurappa was sworn in as Chief Minister by Governor Vala on Thursday morning, despite protests from the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S). The two together parties have support of 117 MLAs against the simple majority mark of 112. The BJP has 104 MLAs.

Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala told the media in Delhi that if the single- largest party has to be called for government formation, the rule should be applied to Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya as well.

“The governments in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya should resign and the single-largest parties in these states be invited to form the respective governments and prove their majority. There cannot be two sets of rules and two Constitutions,” Surjewala said.

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However, BJP leader Prakash Javadekar told reporters in Bengaluru that if the opposition has the numbers, it should bring no-confidence motion in Goa, Manipur, Bihar and Meghalaya.

“This is political drama and a reflection of Congress’ desperation,” he said.

He said that the Congress had not staked claim to form the government in Goa after the 2017 elections and the party whose support it claimed in Manipur accused it of misrepresentation.

Javadekar accused the Congress and the JD-S of keeping their MLAs in confinement. “Their phones have been taken and they cannot view news channels,” he said.

The BJP leader said that there was no pre-poll alliance in Karnataka and Governor Vala’s invitation to the BJP to form the new government was “as per the rule”.

“People voted for the BJP to rule in Karnataka,” he said.

–IANS

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