Goa: Petitions filed challenging election of 4 MLAs

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Panaji, July 21: Election of four legislators, including Finance and Health ministers of Goa, was challenged in the Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court here under the Representation of Peoples' Act as the 45-day deadline for filing election petitions ended yesterday.

The petitioners prayed for disqualification of the MLAs on different grounds including irregularities and inducements in the June 2 elections to the Goa legislative Assembly for which results were declared on June 5.

While Finance minister Dayanand Narvekar (Congress) elected from Aldona was charged with indulging in unfair practices and showing lower election expenditure, Health minister Viswajit Rane (Independent), son of former Chief Minister Pratapsingh Rane allegedly distributed wrist watches, TV sets and sewing machines in Valpoi.

Mrs Fermeena Khaunte, who had unsuccessfully contested from Aldona filed the petition against the Finance minister while BJP's Puttu Gaonkar against Rane.

Industrialist Anil Salgaocar (Independent), elected from Sanvordem allegedly dug 13 borewells in seven villages to attract voters in violation of the election code, according to petitioner Naresh Shirgaonkar (CPI-M).

In another petition, former minister Somnath Zuwarkar who had unsuccessfully contested from Taleigao against Atanasio (Babush) Monserrate, alleged that the nomination papers of the latter were not valid as he had filed the papers as UGDP nominee even as he was still a member of the Congress at the time of filing the documents.

Informatively, Babush originally filed his nomination paper on Congress ticket but later as the UGDP nominee just before the deadline. He opted to contest on UGDP ticket during scrutiny.


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