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Daijiworld Media Network - Panaji (RS)

Panaji, Jul 11: A Goa-based social activist today served a legal notice to Goa government on appointment of three parliamentary secretaries, who enjoy the cabinet rank in the state.

Social activist Aires Rodrigues, this afternoon, through a notice to the state chief secretary, has challenged appointments of NCP legislator Nilkant Halarnkar and two other Congress legislators - Victoria Fernandes and Fransic Silveira - to the post of parliamentary secretaries. 

Rodrigues, a High Court advocate himself, has drawn attention to the Section 164 of the constitution of India whereby total number of ministers including chief minister in the state of Goa cannot exceed twelve.

The notice has also challenged the appointments of Congress legislator Agnelo Fernandes as chairman of state-government run economic development corporation limited and NCP Goa unit president Dr Wilfred D'Souza as the deputy chairman of state planning board, both with the ranks or status of cabinet ministers.

He stated that by making three parliamentary secretaries of cabinet rank and two more cabinet rank positions, the total number of persons with status of cabinet minister has risen to 17 as against limit of 12.

Rodrigues stated that the purpose of the 91st amendment to the constitution of India was to restrict the size of the cabinet to prevent jumbo size cabinets with a huge financial burden to the state exchequer.

He has further said that no law empowers the government or the chief minister to make appointments of parliamentary secretaries with cabinet status or conferring cabinet status to the chairman of EDC and deputy chairman of Goa planning board.

Rodrigues has demanded the immediate revocation and cancellation of the appointments failing which he has informed that he would move to the High Court with the petition.


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