Panaji; The sudden death of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) minister Mathany Saldanha on Wednesday has forced the Goa government to postpone the presentation of the budget for 2012-13 to March 26. The state government has also declared three-day mourning after Saldanha succumbed to a major cardiac arrest in the wee hours of Wednesday.
"We have informed the Goa Governor K. Sankaranarayanan about the postponement of the budget. I am too choked by his death. He was my brother in the assembly who had stood by me and the party through thick and thin," Chief Minister ManoharParrikar said.
Goa`s lone Rajya Sabha MP Shantaram Naik said that the 65-year-old Saldanha`s death was shocking and unbelievable. "He was more a social activist than a politician, and that, he agreed with me on a number of issues I raised in Parliament."
Saldanha was one of the few Christian ministers who had stuck by the BJP for the last several years, before he formally joined the saffron party earlier this year before the March 3 polls. He was the minister for tourism, environment and forests in the BJP-led coalition government.
Saldanha`s death also robs the party of a simple majority of 21 in the 40-member house, until by-elections are held in the Cortalim constituency.
Saldanha, a maverick politician who was the face of mass agitations and a stalwart campaigner for preserving traditional occupations, was elected to the 12th Goa assembly from the Cortalim constituency.