Opposition cries foul over runner-up BJP’s bid to form governments in Goa, Manipur

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New Delhi/Panaji, March 13 (IANS) The BJP’s bid to form governments in Goa and Manipur despite being a runner-up in both states, by cobbling up a coalition with regional players, drew flak from the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday.

While the Congress called the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s bid to form the governments as “stealing elections”, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) asked the Election Commission (EC) to just “auction” every seat to the highest bidder instead of holding elections henceforth.

While in Goa, Governor Dr. Mridula Sinha has already invited BJP legislative party leader Manohar Parrikar to form the government, in Manipur, Governor Najma Heptulla forced Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh to resign to clear the decks for the swearing-in of BJP’s Nongthombam Biren Singh.

In Goa, it got 13 seats, while the Congress got 17 and others, including Independents, 10 seats.

Three MLAs each of the Goa Foward Party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, three Independent MLAs and a sole Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislator were literally worth their weight in gold, but also available for picking.

After day-long hectic parleys on Sunday, the BJP claimed to have got the support of 21 MLAs and the Governor invited Parrikar to form the government.

Reacting to the BJP move, AAP Goa Convenor Elvis Gomes said: “Money plays a big role in deciding who is elected, because the EC machinery has failed.

“Sometimes I wonder why we should have elections at all! It would be better if the Commission conducts an auction of the seats. Let the highest bidder win it, instead of going through this whole process of contesting election and holding rallies.”

In Manipur, the BJP got 21 seats while the Congress got 28. The Naga People’s Front (NPF) and the National People’s Party (NPP) got four sets each, while the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and Trinamool Congress got one each, besides an Independent MLA.

Manipur Chief Minister Ibobi Singh, who had claimed to have the numbers on his side, resigned on Monday evening under pressure from the Governor.

He had claimed to enjoy the support of four MLAs of the NPP on the basis of a letter he got from the party soon after the declaration of the assembly results.

However, Vivekraj Wangkhem, General Secretary of the NPP, said: “There have been changes. We have decided to support the BJP. This is final. There is no question of our party supporting the Congress even if Ibobi Singh is given a chance.”

Heptulla pointed out to Ibobi Singh that just a letter of support would not suffice. She insisted on the physical presence of the four NPP MLAs, which under the changed scenario seemed only next to possible, and the Chief Minister was forced to resign.

Critcising the BJP’s moves, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Monday said in a tweet: “The Prime Minister says that they would become more humble after victory. Abduction of an MLA in Manipur and haggling for power in Goa! We bow to Modiji’s humbleness.”

In another tweet, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram said that a party that comes second has no right to form the government.

“BJP is stealing elections in Goa and Manipur,” Chidmabarm said.

–IANS

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