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How Congress in Goa snatched defeat from the jaws of victory



Manohar Parrikar has taken oath as Goa CM and will face a floor test on March 16

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Though they got 17 seats and was the single largest party, the BJP which secured only 13 had by Sunday sewn up deals with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (3) and Goa Forward Party (3) and some independents to present to the governor a list of 22 legislators

~By Sujit Bhar[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]The Goa situation has come to a critical point. As Governor Mridula Sinha called the BJP to form government—Chief Minister designate Manohar Parrikar had already resigned from his post at Defence Minister and taken oath as chief minister on March 14—Congress took time to realise that the BJP was actually the party that finished second at the hustings in the state. While the Congress got 17 seats, BJP managed 13.

Neither had the magic number of 21 to claim independent hold of the 40-member assembly of the state. By Sunday, and way before the Congress could get out of their slumber and move, the BJP had sewn up deals with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party or MGP (3) and Goa Forward Party (3) and some independents (3 independents have won) to present to the governor a list of 22. While the governor should have traditionally called the largest party to show its strength, this quick response of the BJP (and no official claim by the Congress) had her in a bind. She called the BJP to form government and asked it to prove its strength on the floor of the assembly in 15 days.

That got the Congress’ goat. They rushed to the Supreme Court and demanded justice. The court is on vacation, but considering the urgency of the situation, the Chief Justice of India, JS Khehar, called a three-judge bench—others on the bench being Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R K Agrawal—to handle the case. The Supreme Court agreed that the floor test will have to be held on March 15 itself—the Congress had argued that the 15-day window was too large, fearing rampant “horse-trading”—but then came down heavily on the Congress. The court also refused to stop the oath-taking by Parrikar.

Senior Congress lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi petitioned as follows: “Election results were known by 11th evening. INC got the majority seats of 17 seats. On 12th Congress selected the CM but by then, on 12th evening, BJP’s Mr Parrikar goes to governor and same day he was appointed by governor as CM of Goa.”

His claim: “Extravagant discretion exercised by governor is not allowed as per Constitution. The governor should not have appointed without consulting the single largest party. Democracy is part of basic structure. We have now 21 members supporting the Congress party.
We had written to the governor that we will form the government.
The governor should have called us before appointing the CM.”

That was when the CJI interjected, saying: “You saw them saying they have the majority. But you never said you have the majority nor have you mentioned in this petition. You have not brought the affidavits of these people who are with you. You failed to show that the people who are mentioned in their list are with you.”
The court said: “If you had the numbers, you would have held a dharna at the Governor’s house.”

As counsel Singvi submitted that “It’s constitutionally and legally wrong,” Justice Gogoi replied: “Healthy constitutional practice should be followed, not the just the convention of calling the largest party.”

With things not so bright, Singhvi pleaded: “How can you give a window of 15 days to second largest party? Let there be a floor test today (March 14) or tomorrow.”

The Chief Justice said: “You could have demolished their case in 30 seconds. You could have just shown that they are with you. You are putting us also in the position of the governor. You have not shown that three people are with you.”

Singhvi admitted the lapse. He said: “I made a mistake by not showing that I agree. Our second prayer is to hold the floor test. What is the difficulty in holding the floor test today or tomorrow?”

Finally, the court acceded to his request and issued the order, the relevant section of which is as follows: “We … hereby direct, that all pre-requisite formalities for holding a floor test, including the formalities required to be completed by the Election Commission, be completed by 15.03.2017. We request the Governor of the State of Goa to ensure, that a floor test is held on 16.03.2017, and the only agenda for the day would be, the holding of a floor test to determine whether the Chief Minister administered the oath of office, has support of the majority. The floor test shall be held on 16.03.2017, as early as possible, but surely during the course of the same day.”

It’s not over

The Supreme Court may have acceded to the plea and ordered a floor test on Thursday. However, that is definitely not the end of the problems for Congress.

While Congress leader P Chidambaram tweeted: “The BJP is stealing elections in Goa, Manipur (in Manipur, too, the BJP has been invited to form government). Party that comes second has no right to form government,” Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, who is in charge of Goa affairs shot back: “The Congress was busy in Goa with five to six candidates claiming leadership. So they did not have time to discuss with alliance partners.”

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has reportedly said: “Governor in Goa had only one claim of 21 MLAs out of 40 with Parrikarji as leader. 17 MLAs of Congress did not even make a claim.”

The issue has boiled over to the Congress MLAs—many of them first-timers—who are reportedly furious that despite having the numbers, they could not stake claim. They were surprised and frustrated that the party was not able to get the support just four legislators from other parties to show a minimum of 21.

A visibly frustrated Jennifer Monserrate, an elected Congress MLA from Taleigao (North Goa) was reportedly heard saying: “It is miserable and horrible… people trusted the Congress and voted for us… we get a clear 17 seats and we still couldn’t manage to form government… we are the laughing stock.”

This is the level of degeneration and decadence that the Grand Old Party seems to have gone into. The rheumatic behaviour is so apparent that the party today can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

India News

Bypolls results: INDIA bloc sweeps 10 seats, 2 for BJP, independent 1, across 7 states

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said three out of four seats were of BJP which have now been won by TMC.



The Opposition bloc INDIA swept the by-elections winning 10 out of 13 seats, while the BJP won only two seats across seven states. The independent candidate, Shankar Singh, won the Rupauli seat in Bihar’s Purnea, defeating JDU’s Kaladhar Prasad Mandal by a margin of 8,246 votes.

In Punjab, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Mohinder Bhagat has won the Jalandhar West Assembly seat, defeating his rival, BJP candidate Sheetal Angural, by a massive margin of more than 37,000 votes. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) is leading on 4 seats in West Bengal.

The by-elections in 13 Assembly constituencies across seven States concluded on July 10. The Assembly seats included Badrinath and Manglaur seats in Uttarakhand; Rupauli in Bihar; Raiganj seat, Ranaghat Dakshin seat, Bagda and Maniktala seat in West Bengal; Vikravandi in Tamil Nadu; Amarwara in Madhya Pradesh; Jalandhar West in Punjab and Dehra, Hamirpur and Nalagarh in Himachal Pradesh.

In Himachal Pradesh, Kamlesh Thakur, wife of Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, has won the Dehra constituency. The Congress has secured the Nalagarh seat as well, while the BJP managed to win the Hamirpur seat.

On the by-elections in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said three out of four seats were of BJP which have now been won by TMC. Thanking the people of Bengal, she said this victory is the victory of the people.

Addressing a press conference, Congress leader Pawan Khera said that these by-elections which were held on 13 seats are very important. For the second time in one and a half months, the people of the country gave a strong message to the BJP, he added.

He said the message was very clear in the Lok Sabha elections. The Congress leader also spoke about the by-poll result in Uttarakhand and said the party has won both its seats, Badrinath and Manglaur. In Himachal Pradesh, Congress won 2 out of 3 seats, he further said.

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India News

Baba Ramdev joins celebration, dances with the groom at Anant Ambani-Radhika Merchant wedding

The four-day celebration starts with traditional Hindu wedding rituals like haldi, mehndi, and sangeet and will be followed by a magnificent reception over the weekend.



Yoga guru Baba Ramdev was among the guests at the grand wedding of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant, held at the Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai on Friday. The Yoga guru was accompanied by his close advisor, Acharya Balkrishna. Ramdev has been seen dancing in a video shared on social media with the groom as a Barati.

Anant Ambani, the youngest son of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani and Nita Ambani, married his childhood sweetheart Radhika Merchant this Friday. The event was an over-the-top affair, attended by global celebrities, business tycoons, sports personalities and politicians. The wedding rituals, which included exchanging garlands and walking around the holy fire, began on Friday and went on past midnight.

The celebrations took place at the Ambani-owned Jio World Convention Centre and the family home. The wedding marked the height of months of events, featuring performances by pop stars like Rihanna, Rema and Justin Bieber. The four-day celebration starts with traditional Hindu wedding rituals like haldi, mehndi, and sangeet and will be followed by a magnificent reception over the weekend.

The guest list comprises prominent personalities such as former British Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Boris Johnson, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin H. Nasser, and celebrities like Adele, Lana Del Rey, Drake, John Cena Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Law Roach, and David Beckham. Almost each and every international guest wore traditional Indian attire designed by major Indian fashion designers.

Anant Ambani, 29, is responsible for the corporation’s renewable and green energy creativities and also runs a 3,000-acre animal rescue centre named ‘Vantara’ in Jamnagar, Gujarat, the family’s hometown. The bride, Radhika Merchant, 29, is the daughter of pharmaceutical tycoon Viren Merchant and serves as the marketing director for his company, Encore Healthcare.

The wedding celebrations are expected to continue through the weekend, with a grand reception planned to cap off the festivities.

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India News

Jammu and Kashmir: Home Ministry amends Reorganisation Act to boost LG power

In the Transaction of Business Rules, sub-rule 2A has been inserted after sub-rule (2) in rule 5.



The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has amended the rules of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act to give more power to the Lieutenant Governor. The MHA notified the amended Rules under Section 55 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 inserting new Sections giving more power to the LG.

According to the information, only the transaction of Business Rules has been amended. Nothing new has been provided in these rules. It is already mentioned in the State Reorganization Act (SRA) of 2019. The current amendment to rules is just a clarificatory in nature flowing from the existing provisions of SRA 2019.

In the Transaction of Business Rules, sub-rule 2A has been inserted after sub-rule (2) in rule 5.

With the amendment, the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir will exercise more power on matters of transfers and postings of all-India service officers like the IAS and IPS, police, law and order as well as the appointment of judicial officers, as per the official notification. 

President Droupadi Murmu approved the amendments in the rule exercising the powers conferred by Section 55 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, (34 of 2019) read with the Proclamation dated October 31, 2019, issued under Section 73 of the Act, as per the notification issued by the MHA. 

The notification further said that the President has made the rules further to amend the Transaction of Business of the Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Rules, 2019. These rules may be called the Transaction of Business of the Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (Second Amendment) Rules, 2024, the notification suggests further. 

The amendments came into force on July 12, the date of the publication in the Official Gazette; a move in anticipation of the speculated assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.  

Reacting to the Amendment, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said another indicator that elections are around the corner in J&K. This is why a firm commitment to laying out the timeline for restoration of full, undiluted statehood for J&K is a prerequisite for these elections, he added.

The people of J&K deserve better than a powerless, rubber-stamp CM who will have to beg the LG to get his/her peon appointed, he asserted.

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