Late Goa minister`s wife Elena Saldanha joins BJP

Over a month after the death of former Goa tourism minister Matanhy Saldanha, his wife Elena on Monday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Panaji: Over a month after the death of former Goa tourism minister Matanhy Saldanha, his wife Elena on Monday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with an aim to contest the Cortalim by-election, necessitated following the demise of her husband.

BJP leader Matanhy Saldanha, who was inducted in the Parrikar-led Cabinet as the tourism minister, had died on the intervening night of March 20 and 21 after suffering a massive cardiac arrest.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, along with BJP Goa chief Laxmikant Parsekar, today welcomed Elena into the partyfold at a function held here.

Party sources said that Elena would be sworn in as a minister on May 6, two days after the newly-inducted Governor B V Wanchoo, who takes charge of his office on May 4.

Elena, a newcomer in the politics, said that the electorate of Cortalim will vote for her victory at the bypoll scheduled on June 2.

Addressing a gathering, she said that she would do her best to fulfill the promises made by her late husband in the election manifesto.

He was a leader of fishing community and also led several struggles against polluting industries.

The Chief Minister said that his government has been working to fulfill Matanhy`s dream of getting special status for Goa. "Everyone likes a special status. It is not in our hand. We will lobby with the Centre to get the status," he said.

PTI

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