Categories: Goa News

Govt’s special plea to CEO for service extension to Ajgaonkar’s brother

NT NETWORK

Panaji

As the heat of the elections is competing with the Indian summer, with the election code of conduct in full force in Goa, the department of labour and employment is all set to make a special request to the office of the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) that Shrikant Ajgaonkar, a medical officer at the local Employee State Insurance (ESI) hospital, functioning under it may be granted extension in service.

Shrikant Ajgaonkar, who has recently retired from the service, is the brother of Minister for Tourism Manohar ‘Babu’ Ajgaonkar. He had joined the ESI hospital in 1994.

Highly placed sources at the department of labour and employment have stated that a file related to the extension of Shrikant Ajgaonkar has been recently cleared. “However, as the election code of conduct is enforced in the state, the department cannot take any decision about new recruitments or extensions in service,” they informed, maintaining that a clearance from the office of the state Chief Electoral Officer is mandatory for any such decision.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the Tourism Minister, who has recently joined the Bharatiya Janata Party sternly demanded extension in service for his brother, with the local BJP leaders as well as the Chief Minister and the Minister for Labour and Employment. When informed that no such decision could be taken during the election code of conduct period, he insisted that the government seek permission from the Election Commission of India for the same, as a special case.

It may be recalled that Shrikant Ajgaonkar is currently one of the directors on the Board of the Goa Tourism Development Corporation, as also the member of Goa Football Development Council (GFDC). Both these appointments were termed to be illegal, due to his status as a government employee.

Shrikant Ajgaonkar was further slated to be appointed as the new chairman of the Goa Football Development Council (GFDC), after the resignation of Rufino Monteiro from the post, but the then chief minister Manohar Parrikar stopped this appointment. Manohar ‘Babu’ Ajgaonkar is also the Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs.

Furthermore, when an official three-member delegation of the tourism department led by Minister for Tourism Manohar ‘Babu’ Ajgaonkar and including the then chief secretary Dharmendra Sharma, visited the US during the summer of 2018, Shrikant Ajgaonkar was also included in the delegation as an ‘unofficial’ member. After the media exposed the inclusion of many ‘unofficial’ members in this junket, the Minister for Tourism had to clarify that such members were not sponsored by the government.

Incidentally, during the political developments in the state, during the recent past, Shrikant Ajgaonkar was seen accompanying the Tourism Minister as also interacting with the media persons, even though he was a government employee and was not entitled to do so.

nt

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