Legislators in Goa’s ruling alliance continue feud

April 4th, 2009 - 8:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, April 3 (IANS) Even as the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have joined hands to field consensus candidates from Goa for the Lok Sabha polls, a running feud between two state ministers and a legislator of the ruling combine shows no sign of abating.
Tourism Minister and NCP legislator Francisco Pacheco, who has been gunning for the disqualification of two Congress legislators over their questionable entry into the party, said that a recent Election Commission order in this regard had “vindicated” him.

“This week’s ruling by the commission terming Save Goa Front’s (SGF) merger into the Congress as invalid only strengthens my case in the disqualification petitions against Churchill Alemao and Reginaldo Lourenco,” Pacheco told IANS.

“The merger of the party with the Congress, as claimed by a certain group, cannot be held as valid merger as the said resolution was not approved by the requisite number of members of the general body,” the commission had stated in its ruling.

Both Alemao and Lourenco were elected to the legislative assembly on a Save Goa Front (SGF) ticket, but later claimed to have merged their party into the Congress.

Alemao was made a cabinet minister after the merger, while Lourenco was appointed chairman of state-run road transport corporation.

While Pacheco had filed a disqualification petition with the Goa Speaker Pratapsing Rane against both the legislators in October last year, Anton Gaonkar, the president of the SGF, had filed a complaint against Alemao and Lourenco before the Election Commission.

“I am going to pursue my disqualification petitions pending before the speaker. Their disqualification as MLAs (legislators) is a only matter of days now,” Pacheco said.

While the respective party presidents chose not to comment on the feud, Lourenco, when contacted, said that vested interests were responsible behind the disqualification petitions.

“As far as I know, the SGF was lawfully merged with the Congress. The speaker is yet to decide on the matter. There is no point in speculating right now. I am sure me and Alemao will come out with flying colours,” Lourenco said.

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