Citing several precedents and a past communiqué by ex-President KR Narayanan, the Finance Minister justified the decision of the governor to invite Manohar Parrikar to form the government.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday vowed that his party will continue its fight against BJP's ideology, alleging that the saffron party is undermining democracy as it did in Manipur and Goa.
The BJP, which had won 21 seats, seven less than the Congress, made a bid for power claiming that it has the support of 33 MLAs in the 60-member assembly.
Senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for the BJP, argued that the governor was convinced that Parikkar had the support of three Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) legislators and three from Goa Forward Party (GFP).
In a major setback to the Congress Party, the Supreme Court earlier in the day refused to stay the swearing-in of Parrikar and ordered a floor test in the state assembly at 11 a.m. on March 16.
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Parrikar returned to Goa as chief minister for the fourth time, though he could not complete full terms in his previous stints. "The debate between the largest party lacking majority versus a combination of parties constituting a majority was answered by former President KR Narayanan in his communique in March, 1998, when he invited Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee to form the government", Jaitley said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
There were talks to appoint Parrikar as the new chief minister as both the Congress and BJP stake claim to form the government. Many Congress leaders, including the party's Rajya Sabha chief whip Satyavrat Chatur-vedi, criticised the delay in garnering support from other MLAs in Goa, where it lost out to the BJP in the race to form the government despite being the 'single largest party.
The Number Game: The ruling Congress finished as the single-largest party, but three short of a majority while the BJP with 21 seats was 9 short of a majority in a hung Manipur Assembly.
The apex court further told the Congress that it should have gone to Goa Governor Mridula Sinha rather than raising the matter before the judiciary. The smaller parties did not offer support the Congress because they were not sure how Congress would treat them. "I hope they know how to work hard", he said. Thus, the effective majority now will go down to 30, allowing the BJP to form the next government comfortably. "The mandate of the people of Goa and Manipur has been stolen by the BJP".