The tussle for government formation in Goa on Monday reached the Supreme Court, with the state Congress legislative party leader challenging the invitation extended by Goa Governor Mridula Sinha on Sunday to BJP leader Manohar Parrikar to form government.
All India Congress Committee (AICC) Secretary Girish Chodankar told IANS late on Monday that Chief Justice Jagdish Khehar had ordered setting up of a special bench for the hearing, which had been scheduled for Tuesday at 10:30 am.
Chodankar said that the Governor should have rightfully invited the Congress party to form a government in Goa, because it had emerged as the single-largest party, with 16 seats in the 40-member Goa Legislative Assembly, following the February 4 polls.
"We were the single-largest party. The Governor should have invited us to form government according to established constitutional practice," Chodankar said.
Congress legislative party leader Chandrakant Kavlekar filed the petition in the apex court late on Monday.
In his petition, Kavlekar has cited the apex court's decision in the Rameshwar Pandit judgement, where the Supreme Court had said that the single-largest party should be allotted the first attempt to form government in case of a hung assembly.
"Governor overlooked Sarkaria Commission Report and M.M. Punchi Commission Report. These reports were also upheld and endorsed by the court in Nabam Rebia and Bamang Felix V. Deputy Speaker AP Assembly matters," Chodankar said.
The Congress had 17 MLAs while the BJP had 13.
The Governor invited Parrikar to form government, after he met her late on Sunday and submitted letters of support from 21 MLAs, which includes three legislators each from two regional parties, namely Goa Forward and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and two Independent legislators.