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Crisis in Goa: row over Pacheco's induction

Dec 23, 2010 08:51 AM IST Politics Politics

New Delhi: A political crisis is brewing in Goa as nine Congress MLAs threaten to topple the government if tainted leader Micky Pacheco is inducted in the cabinet.

PWD Minister Churchill Alemao is heading the group. The crisis began after NCP dropped two of its MLAs who had legal cases against them and decided to induct Pacheco who is allegedly involved two cases of murder and fraud.

NCP president Sharad Pawar's directive to Goa Chief Minister Digamber Kamat to re-induct controversial MLA Fransisco Pacheco in the ministry resulted in a group of 10 Congress legislators tonight threatening to topple its own government in such an eventuality.

The government would be toppled within minutes if Pacheco, a former tourism minister, is sworn-in, the MLAs said.

Asserting that they would not bow down to any diktat even if it is from the party high command, the legislators, led by Public Works Department minister Churchill Alemao, asked Congress general secretary B Hariprasad, in-charge of state affairs, to immediately rush to Goa to resolve the crisis.

Along with Churchill Alemao, Congress MLAs Joaquim Alemao, Agnelo Fernandes, Philip Nery Rodrigues, Fransico Silveira, Atanasio Monserratte, Pandurang Madkaikar, Manohar Asgaonkar, Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco and Chandrakant Kavlekar are lobbying against Pacheco's induction.

Goa is facing a fresh round of political instability, ever since NCP asked both its ministers - Jose Philip D'Souza and Nilkant Halarnkar, to quit from the state cabinet.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar, on Wednesday morning, asked Chief Minister Digamber Kamat to immediately drop the two NCP ministers and swear-in Pacheco.

"Pacheco has a murder case against him. He is also named as an accused in money laundering case. We don't want anyone with tainted character in the cabinet," Alemao said reminding that Congress had dropped its own MLA Dayanand Narvekar when his name figured in the infamous ODI ticket scam.

The 40-seat Goa Legislative Assembly has 20 Congress, 14 BJP, three NCP, two Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and one independent legislator.

(With PTI inputs)