Goa polls: EC declares state recruitments invalid

Goa map
Panaji, Jan 5: The Election Commission (EC) has put a spanner in the Goa government's drive of dolling out jobs even as the model code of conduct is already in force for the March 3 Assembly polls.

In an indication that it is taking its job seriously, the EC has put on hold the order sanctioning around 400-odd recruitments and has also warned of appropriate action against the respective heads of departments.

"416 appointment orders given by six government departments post December 24, when election code of conduct came into force, are declared null and void," Joint Chief Electoral Officer Narayan Navti told reporters yesterday.

As per the data available with EC, intensive appointments were being done in the Animal Husbandry department which filled 141 posts, followed by Electricity department which recruited 127 people and 118 in police department.

21 posts in PWD along with 8 posts in the Cooperation department and two posts in Government Polytechnic are also being declared as "null and void" by the authority.

Suitable action would be initiated against all the heads of departments (HODs), who signed the appointment letters violating the election code of conduct, Navti said.

The state Chief Electoral Officer has already referred the matter to the Election Commission of India (ECI) after the main opposition party BJP complained that the ruling parties were dolling out jobs to woo the voters.

"There is a last minute hurry to give jobs in various departments to lure the voters," BJP leader Manohar Parrikar had alleged in his complaint.

He had claimed that the appointment letters were hand delivered to the candidates and there were some backdated entries in the registers to circumvent the code of conduct.

Navti said that the matter has been referred to ECI as it is observed in some cases that job interviews were held before the code of conduct came into effect.

Responding to the information sought from 49 departments over the recruitments made during December 20 to December 27, 2011, the Digambar Kamat government has replied that they were done in 16 departments during the said period.

EC has found that six departments had blatantly violated the norms while giving jobs to the candidates.


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