Speaker restores Victoria's rights

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Panaji, Jan 9 (UNI) Goa Assembly Speaker Pratapsinh Rane has restored all rights of the lone woman Congress legislator Victoria Fernandes who had rebelled against the Digambar Kamat Government for denying her cabinet berth and later resigned from the party and the Assembly in protest.

In an interim order, on the eve of the assembly session, the Speaker has allowed Mrs Fernandes to function as a legislator ''in public interest'' with immediate effect.

Mr Rane, however, directed her to strictly abide by the party directives in all respects including voting.

She has also been directed not to violate the provisions of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, pending final disposal of the disqualification petition filed against her by Congress legislator Chandrakant Kavlekar.

Mrs Fernandes had raised a banner of revolt against the Congress leadership and openly supported the BJP-led anti-Congress coalition of Goa Democratic Alliance (GDA) which staked claim to form government in July last.

She had gone to Delhi along with the GDA leaders to demand dismissal of the Digambar Kamat Government, which then got reduced to a minority.

Mrs Fernandes, who had played a significant role and led a women's movement in the opinion poll, that led to the formation of a separate state of Goa, fought her way amid stiff fight to get re-nominated for the Santa Cruz Assembly constitutuency to contest the June 2 Assembly elections.

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