Cong forces adjournment in RS protesting Goa Guv’s role

New Delhi: Opposition Congress today forced an adjournment of Rajya Sabha proceedings over the conduct of the Goa Governor in inviting BJP to form the government in the state after she reportedly consulted Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Congress members alleged breach of propriety and constitutional norms in the consultations Goa Governor Mridula Sinha held with Jaitley. They stormed into the Well of the House raising slogans against murder of democracy, forcing Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to adjourn the House till noon.

Earlier when the House met for the day, Digvijaya Singh (Cong) said he has given a notice under rule 267 seeking setting aside of the business of the day to take up “gross constitutional impropriety committed by Governor of Goa.”

Singh read out from an interview Sinha gave to a newspaper in which she reportedly said she did not expect BJP to form the government but spoke to Jaitley before arriving at the decision to call the party to form the government ahead of Congress which had emerged as the single largest party in elections.

Kurien said the conduct of a Governor can be discussed only on the basis of a substantive motion and he had disallowed Singh’s notice under 267.

Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the conduct of Governor was discussed when the Arunachal Pradesh issue was debated in the House.

“Why don’t you move a substantive motion,” Kurien asked.

“No. I have to go by rules. You can bring substantive motion, Chairman will consider it.”

Azad said his party colleague Singh had not raised any issue with the conduct of the Governor but merely stated what she had said in an interview.

In the interview, he said, the Governor said she did not accept BJP to form the government and she had called Jaitley at 2130 hours on Sunday night before inviting BJP to form the government.

“How can the Governor seek permission of a Cabinet minister to form a government,” Azad asked as Kurien insisted on a substantive motion for any discussion.

Singh said the House was supreme and a sense of members present can be taken and his notice under rule 267 converted into a substantive motion.

Anand Sharma (Cong) said the Constitution clearly defines the duties and powers of Governor in appointing chief minister and it does not anywhere state that the Governor is supposed to consult serving cabinet minister.

“Constitution does not allow Governor to consult cabinet minister” for government formation, he said.