Arlekar sworn in as minister, fills 5-month old vacancy of Mickky

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 01 October 2015 17:44 IST

Rajendra Arlekar, who resigned as the speaker today morning, was sworn in as a minister in the government led by Laxmikant Parsekar today evening at Raj Bhavan.

The 61-year old Pernem MLA is the 15th legislator to be sworn in the BJP-led coalition government since 2012.

Governor Mridula Sinha administered him oath of secrecy at Raj Bhavan today.

This is the second time Parsekar is filling the vacant post in his 12-memebr cabinet.

After taking over reins from his predecessor Manohar Parrikar on 8 November last year, Parsekar had filled Parrikar’s vacancy on 15 November with Goa Vikas Party leader Mickky Pacheco as the minister.

Mickky however had to step down on 3 April this year after Supreme Court confirmed his six-month jail term for assaulting an electrical junior engineer in 2010.

Since then, the post was vacant for the last five months.

Before Parsekar, former chief minister Manohar Parrikar also had to fill the vacancy once, on 8 June 2012, by inducting forest minister Alina Saldanha, who replaced her husband Matanhy Saldanha.

Matanhy died of a massive heart attack on 21 March 2012, within 12 days of taking over as a minister in Parrikar government that was sworn in on 9 March 2012.

Arlekar, the second-time MLA, is taking over for the first time as a minister.

 

He was once elected the MLA from Vasco in 2002.

Defence minister Parrikar, all the state ministers and BJP MLAs were present at the ceremony today, but none from the opposition from the Congress.

Arlekar’s term as the speaker has been remarkable with path-breaking decisions like making the Assembly proceedings paper-free, providing all the documents of the proceedings on-line as well as introducing Konkani as a formal language of the Assembly.

He however took oath in Marathi today.

A staunch Swayamsevak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Arlekar has also served as the president of Goa BJP, besides holding equally important positions like party secretary etc.

He was jailed, along with his father Vishwanath Arlekar, founder of the Jan Sangh in Goa, during emergency in 1975.

Arlekar’s 93-old father Dada alias Vishwanath also drove down to Raj Bhavan to see his son being sworn in as a minister.

Arlekar has also worked as RSS pracharak before joining active politics.

Goa’s top brass of RSS were present at the swearing in ceremony, including Goa Sanghchalak Subhash Velingkar, Ratnakar Lele and Sanjay Walawalkar.

He has also worked as the chairman of several government bodies like Goa Industrial Development Corporation as well as Goa State Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes Financial Development Corporation.

Besides his calm and cool behaviour, Arlekar is also known for his disciplinary work style.

After taking over as the MLA, he has silently worked to improve the agricultural scenario in his Pernem constituency.

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