Panaji: The Congress on Fridfay accused Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar of trying to "misuse" the government machinery in the run-up to upcoming Panaji bypoll, a day after he addressed reporters in his official chamber to announce his candidature from the seat.
"Parrikar is staring at defeat during the upcoming Panaji by-election. That is the reason he is attempting to misuse his official position," AICC secretary Girish Chodankar told reporters.
Referring to a press conference held by Parrikar in his official chamber Thursday to announce his candidature, Chodankar said, "Parrikar could have addressed media persons from his party office, but he did it purposely from his official chamber. Parrikar has started misusing his official position".
The by-election in Panaji constituency is necessitated after the sitting BJP MLA Siddharth Kuncalienkar resigned to make way for Parrikar to get elected to the House. Election Commission has yet to announce the poll schedule.
"If Parrikar is really sure about his victory, he should first step down as chief minister and then face the by-election. Parrikar should provide a level-playing field to the opponents by not indulging in tactics which are against the ethos of election process," Chodankar added.
Parrikar took over as chief minister in March after resigning as defence minister, after the BJP, which failed to get a majority on its own, succeeded in cobbling together a coalition with the support of regional outfits. He has to get elected to the Assembly within six months for continuing as the chief minister.
The Panaji constituency has been Parrikar's bastion. He represented the seat from 1994 till 2014, before he moved to the Centre as defence minister in the Narendra Modi Cabinet.
Kuncalienkar, who was then attached to the office of Parrikar, was given the ticket by the BJP to contest the by-election in the constituency, left vacant by Parrikar. He retained the seat in the state Assembly elections held in February this year, though his winning margin thinned.
Updated Date: May 12, 2017 18:00 PM