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Who has the mandate in Goa & Manipur, Congress or the BJP?
While all are discussing and debating about BJP's grand wins in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, there is little mention of the BJP leaders who briskly worked in Goa and Manipur to achieve the numbers in their favour.

In Goa, Manohar Parrikar met with Governor Mridula Sinha with support from 21 MLAs in a record 16 hours post the results declaration, whereas the Congress is still in discussions as to who will be their chief ministerial candidate in the state.

In Manipur too, BJP leader Ram Madhav was quick to establish contact with other regional parties for obtaining a majority in BJP's favour.

This came as a big shocker for the Congress as it had thought that Goa and Manipur would go in its kitty. Congress even approached the SC seeking a stay on Goa Governor's appointment of Manohar Parrikar as the CM but the apex court refused to oblige India's Grand Old Party.

Congress' logic in Goa is that the people have rejected the BJP in the state. Its CM candidate along with some key cabinet ministers lost the elections. Thus, Congress should form the next government. I totally agree that the mandate in Goa was against the BJP. But if we follow the same logic, then the public mandate was too against Congress in Manipur, as it couldn't achieve majority on its own. If you give a logic on morality, then it should be applicable in every case. You can't argue on one logic for Goa and on the counter logic for Manipur. BJP has at largest vote share both in Goa and Manipur. Should they cite this as public mandate?

What does a hung assembly or a fractured mandate mean? As I understand it that while the public rejected the incumbent government, it also didn't favour the opposition to rule the state.

In Goa, while the BJP government led by Laxmikant Parsekar was rejected by the public, at the same time the people of the state also didn't give a clear mandate to Congress for forming the government. Thus, in this scenario, other parties or individuals become important and whosoever is able to muster the necessary numbers for achieving majority is eligible to form the next government. Thus, if Goa Forward Party (GFP), Maharashtra Gomantak Party (MGP) and independents support a government under Manohar Parrikar, then it would be considered as the mandate of the people of Goa.

However in Manipur, the case is entirely different. BJP got 21 seats, increasing from nil it had got in 2012 along with the largest vote share in the state. Also other parties like National People's Party (NPP), Naga People's Front (NPF) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) are natural allies of BJP in the Centre. Thus, if BJP merges with its NDA partners then they are getting a majority support. This should be read as a public mandate. No one has stopped the Congress from negotiating with other parties to obtain the necessary numbers. Congress has also alleged that horse trading was done by the BJP. But won't the Congress indulge in such tactics to accumulate the numbers if it is allowed to form the government, or other MLAs will simply support it just out of sheer benevolence?

Congress might be alleging that BJP stalled their government formation in Goa and Manipur, but real introspection must be done by the Congress. Why the CM candidate was an issue with Goa's Congress MLAs? Why Congress MLAs are angry with Digvijay Singh? Why Congress MLAs are accusing Digvijay Singh of mismanagement in the election?

Sources have also pointed out that Digvijay Singh wanted to impose a CM selected by the party high command over Goa Congress. The newly elected MLAs didn't accept this imposition. Some Congress MLAs have also complained that Rahul Gandhi was not accessible to them for resolving the disputes. The point to be noted here is that Congress state leaders in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and other states in the past have left the party because of Rahul Gandhi's feudal behaviour. More than public, it's the Congress' high-handedness that is responsible for its decline at the national level.

It's also being discussed in some political circles that Captain Amarinder Singh is not interested in making Navjot Singh Siddhu the deputy chief minister whereas the Congress high command is insisting over it. You can't win even a single election on your own but want to dictate terms to state leaders who have won the election on their own, that too virtually without any support from the party's central leadership. These are symptoms of a failed organisational structure. Congress must amend these anomalies. Either Rahul Gandhi needs to be more accessible to party leaders or should resign from the post of Congress Vice-President.

Finally, you just can't blame BJP for forming governments in Goa and Manipur. When there is a fractured mandate, it has to be a post-poll coalition government. Thus whoever has the numbers, will form the government. The largest party which doesn't have the numbers need not be called to form government. If you really have the numbers then show your strength on the floor of the Assembly defeating the confidence vote moved by the BJP government. If you can't, then do introspection for improvement of your party instead of wasting time of the apex court, media and others.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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