It has now been confirmed that the former Defence Minister of India and ex-Goa chief minister Shri Manohar Parikkar has become the CM of the state once again. Goa is the smallest state in terms of area in India. There is also a possibility of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) forming its first ever government in the North-Eastern state of Manipur. Goa went to polls on February 4, and Manipur, which is troubled with blockade and insurgency, voted in two phases. On March 4 and March 8. The results were declared on March 11.
Unlike larger states like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand, these two small states gave a fractured mandate. After the results of the Goa and Manipur elections, the Indian National Congress (INC) became the single largest party with 17 and 28 seats respectively, in both the states. Goa has 40 seats, while Manipur has 60, in their respective legislative assemblies. BJP finished a close second in both states, with 13 and 21 seats respectively.
Since no party was able to secure a majority, smaller parties like Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party(MGP), Goa Forward(GF) with 3 MLAs each, Nationalist Congress Party(NCP) with 1 MLA and 3 independent MLAs have become the kingmakers in Goa. Like in Goa, in Manipur, parties like the Naga People’s Front(NPF) and National People’s Party(NPP) with 4 MLAs each and Lok Janshakti Party(LJP), Trinamool Congress(TMC) with one MLA each and an independent candidate, have become kingmakers in Manipur.
With both national parties, the BJP and INC, unable to form a government on their own, it should essentially be a coalition government. In between all the drama, the role of the governor becomes important.
Governor, as head of the State, has two options:
1) He/she can call someone from the single largest party or the single largest coalition and ask him to take charge as chief minister. Then, he will give some time for the party to prove majority on the floor of the house.
2) He/she may explore all the options to satisfy himself that the appointed chief minister will be able to provide a stable government. If the governor is confident that a party, despite not being the single largest in the assembly, will be able to provide a stable government, it can be constitutionally given the opportunity.
So, as we have seen, it is not necessary that the single largest party should always get the first opportunity to form a government. If any other party gives a list of MLAs supporting them and the governor is sure that it has numbers on its side to form a stable government, someone from the party will be asked to take charge of the government.
So, as in both the cases of Manipur and Goa, BJP got support from smaller parties. Thus, they got the required number to form the government. So, democratically they should get the first chance as they can give a stable government. However, they have to prove majority on the floor of the house. This is not the time first time that such cases are happening. Earlier in 2004 in Karnataka, despite BJP being the single largest party, it was not called to form a government. The second largest party Congress and regional party Janata Dal (Secular) formed a post-poll coalition. The Congress leader Shri Dharam Singh was sworn in as the CM of Karnataka. Likewise, on December 28, 2013, Aam Admi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal was sworn in as CM of Delhi despite being the second largest party as AAP had got the outside support of Congress and the refusal of the single largest party, BJP, to form the government due to the lack of numbers. So, it is wrong to claim that the BJP forming government in Goa and Manipur is undemocratic as it clearly has the numbers in its hand.