Congress attacks Goa poll officer over radio jingle ban

Panaji, April 7: The Congress Monday accused Goa’s top poll officer of being a BJP lackey, after the party was today stopped from broadcasting its radio jingle campaign criticising Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Congress spokesperson Durgadas Kamat told a press conference at the party’s state headquarters that the party was in the process of complaining to the Election Commission of India (ECI) about chief electoral officer (CEO) Keshav Chandra’s alleged bias against the Congress.

“The jingle exposed Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s double speak on the mining issue. By choosing not to certify the radio jingle, the poll officials have shown how they are trying to protect the BJP,” he said.

The jingle has Parrikar in conversation with a senior journalist at an award ceremony organised by a national news channel, where the former claims that it was he who stopped mining in Goa and not the Supreme Court.

Ironically, Parrikar and the Bharatiya Janata Party, in their election campaign, have been blaming the Supreme Court for banning mining in Goa, which – according to their government – has rendered several thousand people jobless. The ban on mining and the economic setback caused by it has become a major poll issue for the 2014 elections.

“The jingle would have shown the real face of the BJP and Parrikar and how they have been blaming the Supreme Court for imposing the mining ban, when it was Parrikar himself who first banned mining in Goa,” Kamat said.

The Congress spokesperson also said that the party was in the process of complaining against the alleged bias of Chandra, to the ECI.

“If he is allowed to continue till polling day, then it will definitely not be a fair election in Goa. In our complaint to the ECI we are requesting for a replacement of the CEO,” Kamat said.

Goa, which sends two parliamentarians to the Lok Sabha, goes to polls April 12.