The Goa unit of the BJP on Thursday filed a complaint with the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) against Congress’ Panaji assembly by-poll candidate Atanasio Monserratte for allegedly not publishing in media the criminal cases pending against him.
As per the Supreme Court order passed in September 2018, election candidates who have offences registered against them, are mandated to publish their criminal records at least three times in newspapers and electronic media after filing their nomination.
A BJP delegation led by state general secretary, Sadanand Tanavade, met Goa CEO Kunal Thursday afternoon to lodge a complaint against Monserratte.
BJP’s Goa unit chief Vinay Tendulkar, who signed the complaint copy on behalf of the party, said Monserratte and the Congress party have violated the mandatory provisions laid down by the Election Commission of India (ECI) about making the candidates’ criminal records public.
He said Monserratte could face contempt of court for not adhering to the SC directives.
“We demand that the CEO takes strong cognisance of the same and direct both- the Congress party and its candidate- to comply with the Supreme Court directions immediately, failing which necessary action be initiated,” Tendulkar said.
According to him, Monserratte has clearly declared in his affidavit that there are criminal cases pending against him under various sections of the IPC, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the Income Tax Act, Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and others.
Speaking to reporters after filing the complaint, Tanavade said it is brought to the notice of CEO that neither the Congress nor its candidate have published in the media the criminal cases pending against him.
“The CEO assured us that he would direct the North District Election officer to take necessary action in the matter,” he said.
When contacted, Monserratte said he will follow all the due procedures and that the BJP need not worry about it.
“The BJP has lost balance, as they know that they are losing the Panaji seat. Hence, they are using all sort of tricks to seek attention,” he said.
The former minister said he has not denied any criminal cases against him.
The by-election to Panaji assembly segment will be held on May 19. The constituency has been ruled by the BJP since 1994 under late Chief Minister late Manohar Parrikar, who died in March this year.
The ruling BJP has fielded Siddhart Kunkolienkar for the by-election.