Upset over ill-treatment, Arlekar may not take charge of ministries

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 04 October 2015 21:59 IST

Newly inducted minister Rajendra Arlekar may not take charge of his ministry immediately as he is furious over the way he is being treated while allocating portfolios.

Sources close to Arlekar disclosed to goanews.com that Arlekar was furious over minor portfolios being allocated to him while also pushing him down to the last position in the list of ministers.

Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar today reallocated the portfolios, the list of which was released to the media after Governor Mridula Sinha signed it.

Arlekar, while listing him last in the 12th position, has been allocated Panchayat, Forest and Environment.

When contacted, Arlekar however refused to speak his mind.

“This is a just a list signed by the Governor. Let us see how government issues the notification. Till then, I won’t speak”, he told goanews.com and put off the phone.  

Sources however said Arlekar immediately phoned CM Parsekar after the list was out, asking about both – the listing as well as the portfolios.

Arlekar, who resigned from the VVIP Speaker’s position to join the cabinet on 1 October, was reportedly assured important portfolios like education, PWD or transport.

But neither Parsekar gave away his education nor did he strip off Sudin Dhawalikar of PWD or Transport, an increasing demand from the BJP cadres as a counter move to MGP’s aggressive entry into BJP’s bastions.

Instead, Parsekar seized this opportunity to pull back the portfolio of Information & Publicity from Milind Naik, on the eve of forthcoming IFFI next month.

 

In protest, Arlekar learnt to have decided not to go to the Minister’s Block and take charge of the newly allotted ministries to him.

How effective would be his protest is a matter of doubt since Governor Sinha has already left for a foreign tour and would be back only after 20 October.

No ministry reallocation can be implemented until the governor personally signs it.

Meanwhile, when asked, Adv Cleofato Almeida Coutinho felt the act of pushing the former speaker to the last position in the cabinet is total devaluation of the honour a person enjoyed as the constitutional authority.

He also felt that compelling the speaker to join the cabinet for the development of constituency means that no MLA can make any development unless he or she is made the minister.

“This proves that the total Parliamentary system has collapsed. If this is the position of the ruling party, then what would be the fate of any MLA, ruling or opposition,” asked Adv Coutinho, a constitutional expert.

Arlekar is the MLA of Pernem, a neighbouring constituency of Mandrem, represented by chief minister Parsekar.

Being a senior party functionary coming from the RSS cadre and former party president, he was also in the race of chief minister when Manohar Parrikar had resigned from the post take over as the defence minister of the country.

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