Poll panel ‘disapproves’ of Goa chief minister’s conduct

April 8th, 2009 - 11:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Panaji, April 8 (IANS) The Election Commission Wednesday pulled up Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat and four other ministers for violating the model code of conduct and cancelled the appointment of a media advisor to the information and publicity department.
Election Commission secretary Standophe Yuhlung in an order warned Kamat, Revenue Minister Jose Philip D’Souza, Power Minister Aleixo Sequeira, Home Minister Ravi Naik and Transport Minister Ramkrishna Dhavalikar for assuring “welfare measures for a particular group of people”, a move that violates the poll code.

“The Election Commission of India has disapproved of the chief minister and four ministers’ conduct,” the order said.

The order was referring to a recent press conference addressed by Kamat and the other ministers where they assured the 2,000-odd families of fishermen and other people living in the coastal areas that the Congress-led government would find ways of saving their homes from demolition due to the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) violations. The press conference was held a couple of days after the model code of conduct came into force.

The poll panel also directed the state chief secretary to advise the ministers to exercise caution in their day-to-day functioning during the run-up to the polls.

“Any such violation in future would be more seriously viewed,” the order warned.

In a separate order, the Election Commission terminated the services of Vishnu Wagh, a media advisor appointed to the department of information of publicity for violating the poll code. It asked the government to “recover forthwith all expenses incurred on him” from the day the model code of conduct came into force.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had complained to the chief electoral officer K.V. Singh against the appointment of Congressman Vishnu Wagh as a media advisor.

Its complaint came after Wagh addressed press conferences from the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee office here, endorsing the Congress party’s continued support to the offshore casino off Panaji after the BJP demanded the ouster of casino vessels from Goa’s territorial waters.

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