PANAJI: Nearly a month after the Goa elections were held, a special session of the state Assembly was convened on Tuesday to fulfil a constitutional requirement.
After the brief session that lasted for about 15 minutes, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said some "self-proclaimed constitutional experts" forced them to call for the session, at a time when the election for the new state Assembly has already been held.
"Today's was a technical session. When the fate of the next government has been sealed in EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines), convening session by the earlier government was against the Constitution, I would say, rather," Parsekar asserted while emerging from the House after the session. "That is why I was not for it (calling the session). But there are some self-proclaimed constitutional experts who forced us to call for the session to fulfill the technicalities of constitutional requirement," he said, indirectly hinting at the petition filed by social activist Aires Rodrigues in the Goa Bench of Bombay High Court.
Rodrigues had earlier sought directions to the Goa government to comply with the mandate of Article 174 of the Constitution by either summoning a session or dissolving the Goa Legislative Assembly.
"When fate of the new government is sealed, it would be a mockery of election and democracy if we raise any issue on the floor. We had no intention of taking any business. Governor will address the Assembly again when new government will be in power," Parsekar said.
Drawing the court's attention that the last session of the Goa Legislative Assembly was on August 31, 2016, Rodrigues pointed out that the Law department had in November last year moved a file for summoning the session and on January 6, 2017 had also opined that the Assembly needed to be dissolved.
The election for the 40-member Assembly was held on February 4 and the counting is scheduled on March 11.
Meanwhile, Goa Governor Mridula Sinha refrained from making any policy statement in her address to the special session of the state Assembly, owing to the model code of conduct being currently in force in the state. "The need for the summoning of this session was to comply with the Constitution of India mandate of the Article 174 (1) as per which there should not be a gap of more than six months between two sittings," the Governor told the House.
"The last session was held on August 31, 2016, and therefore, by meeting on Tuesday the constitutional limit of six months have been complied with," she added.
Meanwhile, the Congress has raised questions on the timing of the National Anthem played in the House, just when the Leader of Opposition was about to speak.
(With PTI inputs)