Goa’s ruling coalition criticises minister’s move against colleague

October 4th, 2008 - 9:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Oct 4 (IANS) Goa’s ruling coalition partners, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), have rapped a disqualification petition filed by Tourism Minister Francisco ‘Mickky’ Pacheco of the NCP against his cabinet colleague Churchill Alemao of the Congress. Chief Minister Digambar Kamat claimed that Pacheco’s move Friday was “unprincipled”. “We are all cabinet colleagues. Mickky should have discussed it with us before he took this step,” Kamat told the media Saturday.

Newly appointed Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Subhash Shirodkar said Pacheco’s move was in bad taste. “We are going to take this issue up with the NCP high command,” Shirodkar told IANS.

Meanwhile, in a communiqué to the media, NCP general secretary Surendra Furtado said the party didn’t endorse Pacheco’s move.

“We are in a coalition dharma. The party is not aware of anything and we have not been consulted on this important matter. Such matters are first brought before the executive committee,” the general secretary stated.

Pacheco’s disqualification petition against the two legislators, Churchill Alemao and Reginaldo Lourneco, both of the COngress, takes to five the number of legislators facing such petitions. The others are are Victoria Fernandes of the Congress and siblings Ramkrishna Dhavalikar and Pandurang Dhavalikar, both of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party.

In a 39 member assembly (one legislator died earlier this year), the fate of nearly 13 percent of members now lies in the hands of Speaker Pratapsing Rane.

In a petition filed with the speaker’s office, Pacheco claimed that Lourenco and Alemao were elected to the assembly in May last year on a Save Goa Front (SGF) ticket but had joined the Congress without merging their party the Congress.

Analysts claim that the latest political development is the result of an ego hassle that may have wide ramifications in the near future.

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