Up to HC to decide on legality of lifetime cabinet status: ex-Goa CM
Panaji, May 3 (IANS) With the Goa government's decision to bestow lifetime cabinet status on former Chief Minister Pratapsingh Rane now challenged in the Bombay High Court, the Congress leader on Tuesday in an affidavit has said that it is up to the Court to decide on the legality of the move.
Rane, in his affidavit filed before the Goa bench of the Bombay HC, also said that there was no quid pro quo with the BJP which led to the ruling party agreeing to grant him a lifetime cabinet status.
"I submit that I have not asked for any such honour or privilege and the same has been bestowed upon me by the state of Goa in its own discretion and wisdom. I submit that whilst denying that the said notification is contrary to law in any manner whatsoever, either as alleged by the petitioner or otherwise, I am not dealing with the petitioner's allegations with respect to the legality of the said notification and with all humility," Rane told the High Court.
On April 25, the Bombay High Court bench in Goa had admitted a petition filed by city lawyer Aires Rodrigues challenging the constitutional validity of bestowing of lifetime cabinet status on the former Chief Minister by the state's BJP-led coalition government just ahead of the February 14 Assembly polls.
Rane also said that the lifetime cabinet status was not accorded to him as part of a political quid pro quo as alleged by Rodrigues, in his petition.
"I am presently 83 years of age. If I had contested the present election and had been elected, I would have been 88 years of age when my term as MLA would have come to an end.I have an unblemished record which speaks for itself throughout my long political career," he said in his affidavit.
"In view of my advanced age, I took a decision to retire from active politics. I will however continue to do social work in whatever capacity I can to serve the people of the state of Goa."