EC probes use of Parrikar’s ashes for poll campaign

Panaji: The Goa Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) on Thursday asked collectors to probe and send a detailed report into a series of ceremonies held by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to immerse the ashes of late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in rivers across the state’s 40 constituencies.

The direction from the CEO, Kunal, follows a complaint by lawyer Aires Rodrigues alleging that the BJP was taking political advantage of the former Chief Minister’s ashes, which is a violation of the model code of conduct.

“The CEO has written to the general administration department seeking a report whether the government machinery was used for ferrying of ashes. A report has also been sought from (North and South) district collectors,” said a spokesperson for the CEO’s office.

Parrikar died on March 17 following a prolonged battle with cancer.

After Parrikar’s death, the state government led by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and the BJP were in rank violation of the EC code as they had been seeking unlawful political mileage at the cost of late leader, the complaint reads.

At a rally here earlier this week when urns containing Parrikar’s ashes were handed over to BJP workers, Sawant had said although Parrikar was not around to campaign for the party, his ashes would fetch the BJP winning votes.