Mon, 27 May, 2019

EC directs govt to defer Shirodkar’s payment till polls

20th April 2019, 03:07 Hrs

the goan I network

PANAJI

The Election Commission of India has directed the State government to defer its proposal to pay Rs 9.24 crore, the second installment of the land acquisition compensation to the company in which former minister Subhash Shirodkar is a director, till the completion of election process.   

Shirodkar is the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate for the April 23 by-elections for the Shiroda constituency.  

The revenue secretary Nila Mohanan had referred the government’s proposal to release the second installment to Shirodkar’s family-owned company to Goa’s Chief Electoral Officer Kunal, who in turn had referred it to the Election Commission in Delhi.  

The land belonging to Shirodkar’s family-owned company was acquired by the Goa Industrial Development Corporation when his political rival Mahadev Naik was the industries minister several years ago. However, no compensation was paid and the State government was directed by the Bombay High Court to settle the matter. 

Accordingly, the State government and Shirodkar’s company agreed to payment of the compensation in 

installments, the first of which, had already been paid.   

Shirodkar, who was a Congress MLA then quit to join the BJP along with another Congress MLA, Dayanand Sopte, triggering allegations that the deal was linked to his switching sides.  

Both Shirodkar and Sopte have been fielded by the BJP for the Shiroda and Mandrem seats, by-elections for which are scheduled for April 23, prompting the Opposition Congress to file a complaint before the Election Commission that the state government’s proposal to release the Rs 9.24 crore second installment would be a violation of the Model Code of Conduct.  

With the Election Commission now directing that the proposal be deferred until completion of the election process, the payment will have to wait at least until May 23, when counting is scheduled to take place.