Jaitley’s 2017 Tweet About Guv’s Constitutional Rights Haunts BJP
“The internet never forgets.”
Following the fractured mandate in the Karnataka elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were reminded of the internet’s golden rule, thanks to a March 2017 tweet by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
To jog your memory, no party emerged with a clear majority in Goa and Manipur after last year’s elections but the Congress was the single largest party. However, BJP-headed coalitions formed governments in both the states.
Fast forward to 2018, a similar scenario unfolded in Karnataka, but the BJP is on the receiving end as they are failing to have clear majority despite winning most seats.
On 15 May, Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi shared a news report on Twitter in which Arun Jaitley said the governor is constitutionally right in case of a hung verdict in inviting the leader of the majority coalition.
She added that what was constitutionally right for the Governor to do in Goa, Meghalaya and Manipur, must also apply in Karnataka.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury also tweeted screengrabs of Jaitley’s tweets, adding, “BJP govt appointed Governors didn’t invite Single Largest Party in either Goa, 2017 (INC, 17 out of 40 seats), Manipur 2017 (INC 28 of 60) or Meghalaya 2018 (INC 21 out of 60). Union ministers gave arguments supporting them. The precedent is there to follow, right? #Karnataka.”
With the Karnataka assembly polls throwing up a hung verdict, the BJP with 104 seats has fallen short of the half-way mark of 112.
The Congress-JD(S) combine moved quickly even as the counting of votes was underway on Tuesday and requested the governor to allow formation of a JD(S)-led government. The two parties together have a clear majority in the 224-member Assembly.
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