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BJP rules out mid-term election in Goa

PANAJI: Even as Chief Secretary Dharmendra Sharma has issued a circular to all the heads of the departments directing them to follow the guidelines of Election Commission of India (ECI) for running administration when a caretaker government is asked to govern, in case of premature dissolution of the state assembly, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and officials from Chief Minister’s Office have ruled out the possibility of mid-term assembly polls in the state.

Interestingly, the circular issued by the Chief Secretary has led to some alliance partners in the BJP-led coalition government becoming cautious. After a related news report, which was published in this daily on Friday, a debate has begun in political circles as well as the administration.

Officials in the Chief Minister’s Office have claimed that the circular issued by the Chief Secretary was based on the guidelines of ECI which were issued in view of the premature dissolution of Telangana legislative assembly.

An official said that the ECI guidelines were sent to all the states for further circulation if such a premature dissolution takes place in future, adding that it has no link to Goa’s political situation.

A senior officer bearer of BJP has also said that there is no possibility of mid-term assembly polls in Goa. According to him, the party does not intend to take step to dissolve the state assembly before completion of its tenure. Meanwhile, sources in the party have also said that there will be no change in leadership of the government. However, the sources said that some other alternative arrangement could be made including allotment of additional portfolios to ministers in the near future.

Although the BJP leader did not elaborate on the alternative arrangement, it is learnt from sources that the ruling party is considering creating a deputy chief minister’s position wherein a BJP minister may be promoted to the post.

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