Panaji: A top Goa Congress leader on Tuesday denied claims that a legislator had quit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after being offered 100 jobs for his constituents and an election ticket in the upcoming Assembly polls.
Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Subhash Shirodkar said the resignation of the legislator from Bicholim, Rajesh Patnekar, from the BJP on Monday was not in exchange of any assurance from the Congress.
"No assurance has been given by the Congress to him. It is against the principles of the Congress party," Shirodkar said even as the state BJP said it would complain to Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi about corrupt practices in the run-up to the elections.
"We have never assured any jobs to Patnekar. I am not for something like this," Shirodkar said while Patnekar`s claim to the media on Monday that Chief Minister Digambar Kamat offered 100 government jobs to people from his constituency in return for his quitting the BJP created controversy here.
"I have been offered a Congress ticket from Bicholim and 100 government jobs for my constituents, which has been assured by the chief minister and other Congress party leaders," Patnekar, a twice elected BJP legislator, said on Monday after resigning from the BJP.
The BJP has called the job offer a clear case for political corruption.
"We have already exposed a government job doling out scandal. Ministers in this Congress government are doling out jobs like nobody`s business. This is an election gimmick, we will go to the CEC and the courts against this," Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar said, claiming it was a fit case for an institution like the Lokayukta.
"How can the chief minister dish out jobs to a particular constituency? What about meritorious candidates? What is their future?" Parrikar said.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Quraishi, during his August visit to Goa, had directed state Chief Secretary Sanjiv Srivastava to probe the mass recruitment by the government and file an explanation to the commission within a few weeks.
Goa has nearly 50,000 government employees for a population of 13.5 lakh. The polls are to be held early next year.