Panaji: The Congress on Saturday demanded Goa`s top poll officer be replaced, alleging his proximity to the Chief Minister and that he was sitting on complaints related to Model Code of Conduct violations.
Addressing a press conference, Congress spokesperson Durgadas Kamat claimed the office of the chief electoral officer (CEO) was not acting on three complaints the party filed, one of which was a serious accusation against two employees of the Chief Minister`s Office canvassing on Facebook for the BJP.
"We have no confidence in chief electoral officer Keshav Chandra. He has been siding with the BJP and Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. We are writing to the Chief Election Commission to replace him," Kamat said.
He added that more than 10 days have passed since the Congress in a written complaint accused joint secretary to the chief minister, Siddharth Kuncolienkar, and special assistant to Parrikar, Giriraj Pai Vernekar, of canvassing for the BJP via their Facebook accounts.
"Even after 10 days, there has been no action or even a response from the CEO`s office," Kamat said.
This inaction, according to the Congress, was spurring other officials drawing salaries from the exchequer to campaign for the ruling political parties.
"Lyndon Monteiro, an official on special duty to the power minister, drawing a salary from public money, is campaigning for the Goa Vikas Party (GVP), a partner in the ruling coalition. He even addressed a press conference yesterday (Friday)" Kamat said.
The Congress also claimed Chandra is now being accused of irregularities committed during his his earlier stint as the chief executive officer of the controversial Lusofonia Games.
"The Lusofonia Games was the Chief Minister`s pet project. His proximity to Parrikar at that time is now telling in Chandra`s discharge of duties as chief electoral officer. Therefore, we have asked the CEC to replace him," Kamat said.