PANJIM: Goa bench of the Bombay High Court has issued notices to the Speaker of Legislative Assembly Michael Lobo and Manohar Babu Ajgaonkar and Deepak Pauskar who joined the BJP against a plea for the disqualification of the two ex-MGP MLAs.
Sadanand Vaingankar, the national vice-president of Forward Democratic Labour Party (FDLP), has filed a petition in the HC questioning the powers of the Speaker in merging the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) into the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and seeking disqualification of Deputy Chief Minister Manohar Babu Ajgaonkar and PWD Minister Deepak Pauskar for joining BJP.
Questioning the legality of the order issued by Acting Speaker Michael Lobo regarding the merger of MGP into the BJP, Vaingankar in his petition has stated “The impugned order is ex-facie without jurisdiction and authority of law; void ab initio; arbitrary; illegal; perverse and is clearly done to preempt any action of disqualification being raised against respondents (Ajgaonkar and Pauskar). The action of respondent (Speaker) passing of the impugned order in wee hours of March 27, 2019 (after 1.45 am) is clearly an act to circumvent the rigors of the anti-defection law.”
Vaingankar has sought disqualification of Ajgaonkar and Pauskar and his petition stated “(Ajgaonkar and Pauskar) have voluntarily given up membership of their original political party on whose ticket they had contested and stood elected to the Goa State Legislative Assembly from their respective constituencies in the elections held in the year 2017.”
A division bench of Justices RD Dhanuka and Prithviraj Chauhan, has fixed the next date of hearing on April 30.
It may be recalled that on in the wee hours of March 27 this year, Ajgaonkar and Pauskar in a post-midnight coup had merged the Legislative Wing of the MGP into the BJP. Subsequently, Sudin Dhavalikar who was the deputy chief minister was dropped from the cabinet and Ajgaonkar made the Dy CM and Pauskar the PWD Minister.