Ensure Goa Assembly is not dissolved by “foul play” says Cong to Prez

Vastavam web: The Congress in Goa urged President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday to ensure that the state Assembly is not dissolved by “foul play”. Goa Pradesh Congress Committee chief Girish Chodankar, in a petition, briefed Kovind about their earlier pleas to Governor Mridula Sinha about staking claim to form government in the state and said it is imperative that the President issues instructions and guides the governor, so that there is no constitutional over-reach to seek dissolution of the Assembly.

The Congress is the largest party in the 40-member Goa Assembly with 16 MLAs, while the Parrikar government has the support of 23 MLAs. Parrikar, 62, has been ailing since mid-February and has been treated at different hospitals including those in Goa, Mumbai and the US. He returned here Sunday by a special flight from New Delhi, where he underwent treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for pancreatic ailment.

“We had petitioned the governor that we are staking claim to form the government and there should be no decision to dissolve the House without exploring the option of inviting our party to form the government,” Chodankar said in the petition. “For this reason, it is imperative that you (Kovind) issue instructions and guide the governor, so that there is no constitutional over-reach to seek a dissolution by foul play, contrary to wishes of the majority,” he said.

Chodankar alleged that the plea has been made to Kovind as there has been an instance in the past when the then chief minister Parrikar had dissolved the House through a “forged” resolution of Council of Ministers. Notably, Parrikar had in 2002 dissolved the House prematurely after it faced series of defections. The then governor Mohammad Fazal had accepted the recommendation of the state Cabinet to dissolve the House. In the petition to Kovind, Chodankar claimed Parrikar’s prolonged illness has kept several issues pertaining to the state administration pending and that the government has failed to address even the basic issues of people.