– Only ECI can do merger, Speaker has no power – Chodankar
– Two constitutional authorities at loggerheads;
– ECI says No knowledge of merger, while HC endorses merger
– To whom should Goan’s believe?
PANAJI: The GPCC President Girish Chodankar on Sunday stated that order of Hon’ble High Court in regards to disqualification of ten MLAs, has given license to ‘open defection’ and in future any capitalist will form political parties and buy MLA’s without contesting elections and will take control over Goa and nation.
According to him, the basic concept of democratic process and Constitution is under attack as the interpretation by the High Court virtually permits or legalises the ‘horse trading’ in the house.
The Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court on February 24 had upheld the Goa Assembly Speaker’s order dismissing two petitions seeking disqualification of 12 MLAs who had joined BJP in 2019.
Chodankar on Sunday addressed a press conference and said that he respected the order of the high court, but it has raised many questions and has to be answered either by the Supreme Court or Parliament has to take call on it.
Youth Congress president Adv. Varad Mardolkar, John Nazareth, Social Media In Charge Himanshu Tiverekar and others were present on the occasion.
“Congress party will never allow the wrong precedence to be set up in the country as it is not just a matter about Goa but it is all about the democratic fabric of our country based on which the governments work. We will fight against such defections.” He said.
Chodankar pointed out that through RTI, filed before Election Commission-Delhi, it was clear that merger had not taken place and Congress Party in Goa was still existing. “But the Hon’ble High Court has refused to admit that merger had not taken place.” Chodankar said.
“People had voted for secular ideology and these MLAs joined a party which had an opposite ideology. This order will encourage more defection and will play with the sentiments of voters.” He said.
“This order is a license to open defection, which is very dangerous. If this order continues, then the tenth schedule (anti defection law) will be called as LAWS FOR DEFECTIONS.” He said.
Citing the example of former NCP MLA Churchill Alemao, who merged the party into TMC and became their MLA, Chodankar said that TMC, though, didn’t participate in the 2017 election, but had MLA in the Assembly before the term of the assembly ended.
“In future “Adani Janata Party”and “Ambani Janata Party” will buy 2/3 rd MLAs without contesting elections and simply tell the MLA of other party to tell the speaker that they have merged with their party. They can convert entire Goa into a coal hub. Nobody can stop them.” He said.
He said that the speaker has no power to merge political parties. “I challenge them to prove it. It is domain and mandate of Election Commission to merge the parties and not speaker of any assembly.” He said.
Whilst, giving an example of merger of Haryana Janhit Congress with INC, Chodankar said that EC has process to recheck the merger by contacting counterparts of State, which has not taken place in Goa as only speaker decided on merger. “Same process was adopted when Churchill Alemao and Alexio Reginald had merged Save Goa Party with Congress as they had approached ECI, who heard the other members of party and then gave judgment.” He said.
He also pointed out that the orders records that Goa Forward party argued in favour of defected MLA and that tenth schedule is for granting protection and not disqualification. “Actually Goa Forward party had argued that they support case of the Petitioners and that respondent MLA’s should be disqualified.” He said.