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SC to hear Congress' plea today, will Parrikar's swearing-in be put on hold?

The Supreme Court will this morning hear the Congress' petition against the BJP being invited to form government in Goa despite winning fewer seats in the assembly elections.

The party is seeking a stay on Manohar Parrikar's oath ceremony as Goa Chief Minister, planned for 5 pm today. It has also written to Governor Mridula Sinha asking her to scrap Mr Parrikar's swearing-in ceremony.

The Goa Congress' petition to the Supreme Court says Governor Sinha's decision to invite the BJP to form the government is "illegal" as the single-largest party should have been given the first chance.

In election results announced on Saturday, the Congress won 17 seats and the BJP was second with 13. Both were short of 21, the minimum number of seats needed in the 40-member Goa assembly to form government.

The BJP was quick in securing the support of regional parties Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party or MGP and Goa Forward and some Independent legislators and had by Sunday evening met the Governor to stake claim. The new allies had one condition - the BJP's Manohar Parrikar should be Chief Minister.

Parrikar said on Monday that he had resigned as defence minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet to return to his home state and to the post he held before he was called to Delhi.

Parrikar, who met the Governor on Sunday evening to stake claim, said BJP chief Amit Shah and union Minister Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari would attend today's oath ceremony.

"The BJP is stealing elections in Goa, Manipur. Party that comes second has no right to form government," Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram tweeted on Monday.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, who has been overseeing the BJP's Goa affairs responded, "The Congress was busy in Goa with five to six candidates claiming leadership. So they did not have time to discuss with alliance partners."