Panaji: Congress party on Saturday accused Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant of trying to appoint pro-tem Speaker of State Legislative Assembly in violation of the Indian Constitution.
The Chief Minister’s Office, however, has clarified that there are “no such moves to elect pro-tem Speaker.”
Addressing a press conference, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee President Girish Chodankar told reporters on Saturday that the Chief Minister has began a process to appoint pro-tem Speaker, though Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo is in the Chair as acting Speaker.
Chodankar alleged that Sawant was trying to ensure that one of the BJP MLA, who would be submissive to him, would be elected as pro-tem Speaker.
The post of Speaker has been vacant since March this year, after Sawant vacated it to take over the responsibility as the Chief Minister following demise of Manohar Parrikar.
Chodankar said that pro-tem speaker is being appointed to ensure that BJP MLA Vishwajit Rane is disqualified as MLA. He alleged that Sawant and Rane are arch-rivals though they are members of same political party.
“Sawant finds Rane as a competitor due to which the former wants latter to be disqualified,” Chodankar commented.
Independent MLA Prasad Gaonkar has filed the disqualification petition against Rane, who resigned from Congress to join BJP in the year 2017.
When contacted, Chief Minister’s Office denied having made any such move. “There is no move to appoint pro-tem Speaker. Government has not initiated any such process,” a senior CMO official said.