Goa speaker fooled EC: BJP

| 19 August 2005 19:24 IST

Controversy shrouds the Cortalim assembly seat in Goa, where by-elections are scheduled for September 28.

Former United Goans Democratic Party legislator Mathany Saldhana, who was disqualified on August 8 by Goa Speaker Francisco Sardinha for defying the whip issued by the party organisation and voting against the Congress-led alliance government, will approach the high court on Friday.

Saldhana felt he was empowered to challenge his disqualification and seek a stay before the EC issued an official notification for by-elections on September 3.

The Election Commission, in a release issued on Friday, said the Cortalim seat, which had been declared vacant on August 9, would go for bypolls along with seven other assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra, Kerala, Haryana, West Bengal and Uttaranchal.

Meanwhile Bharatiya Janata Party leader and the state opposition leader Manohar Parrikar alleged that speaker Sardinha had fooled the EC by immediately notifying the vacancy, before giving Saldhana any opportunity to move the court.

Saldhana, while challenging his disqualification, will also try to stop the by-election, arguing that he was denied natural justice.

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