Congress moves EC against Goa government order

Panaji: In a complaint to the Election Commission of India on Saturday, the Goa Congress has demanded that the poll authority should strike down a state government order, which appoints two key coalition leaders as Deputy Chief Ministers.

“The order is a clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct and as such this order should be immediately set aside by the EC and strict and stringent action should be taken against the concerned officer and the government of Goa,” Congress’s head of the communications department for Goa, Trajano D’Mello, said in his complaint to the top poll authority in New Delhi.

On March 20, days after BJP leader Pramod Sawant was sworn-in as Chief Minister, the State government issued an order appointing Vijai Sardesai of the Goa Forward Party and Sudin Dhavalikar of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party as deputy CMs.

With three MLAs each, the Goa Forward, as well as the MGP, provide crucial support to the BJP-led coalition, without whose numbers the government is likely to be in a minority.

Addressing a press conference at the state Congress headquarters here, D’Mello said that the appointment of the two deputy Chief Ministers was to gain political capital by the BJP, in view of the upcoming elections to the Lok Sabha and the three by-polls in the coastal state.

“These appointments were done at a time when the Model Code of Conduct was already announced and keeping the Lok Sabha elections and the by-polls in mind,” D’Mello said.

“With coming into force of the Model Code of Conduct of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and for the by-polls of the legislative assembly in the state, it is incumbent upon the government not to declare any decision which will influence the votes in favor of the party in power,” the Congress leader said.

“It is done solely for the purpose of attracting votes,” D’Mello added.