The recent appointment of three new Ministers in Maharashtra though they are currently not legislators has raised many eyebrows given that the Assembly elections in the State are due in three months.
In May 2012 a similar anomaly arose in Goa when the then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was attempting to very high-handedly induct Alina Saldanha as a Minister even before the by-election to fill the vacancy created by the death of Matanhy Saldanha could be held.
I was forced to take up the issue with the Election Commission of India which very rightly ruled that Alina Saldanha could not be inducted in the cabinet as it would disturb the level playing field in the by-polls which were scheduled on 4th June 2012.
The then Goa’s Chief Electoral Officer Mr. S. Kumarswamy was summoned by ego puffed Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and was given a very abusive dressing down followed by being shunted out of Goa. All that the very upright Kumarswamy had done was to give effect to the decision of the Election Commission of India which was in accordance with law and the principles of free and fair elections.
That in that by-election by Manohar Parrikar’s politrik in getting the Congress candidate to withdraw and Alina Saldanha was elected unopposed is another issue.