Alina Saldanha’s entry into Goa cabinet deferred

May 8th, 2012 - 6:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Panaji, May 8 (IANS) Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar Tuesday had to face embarrassment after the Election Commission asked his government to defer the induction of a non-elected person into the state cabinet till the election code of conduct was in force.

Parrikar told reporters that on the “advice” of the Election Commission, he was deferring the induction of Alina Saldanha, wife of deceased Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) minister Matanhy Saldanha, till the by-election in Cortalim constituency on June 2.

Saldanha is a BJP candidate from Cortalim — a seat which her husband had won in the assembly elections in March.

“I will not induct anyone till the by-polls are over,” Parrikar said, adding that the decision was taken in the interest of democracy.

The Election Commission, in its missive, had directed Chief Secretary Sanjiv Srivastava to defer Saldanha’s induction.

The suspense over Saldanha’s induction had been dragging for nearly a month.

Parrikar had said that it was within his constitutional powers to induct her and make her a minister.

However, activist-lawyer Aires Rodrigues had petitioned the Election Commission.

Goa’s new governor B.V. Wanchoo too has been against Saldanha’s induction.

He had said that her induction, when the election code of conduct was in place, would disturb the level-playing field of other candidates in the by-election.

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