Panaji: An RTI activist on Friday filed a petition with the chief electoral officer here challenging the proposed induction of former Goa Tourism Minister Matanhy Saldanha's wife into the state cabinet, before the by-poll.
   
The by-poll was necessitated after demise of Saldanha, who died on cardiac arrest recently.

Party sources had earlier said that Saldanha's wife Alina would be sworn in as a minister on May 6. She joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on April 30 and has been tipped-off as a party candidate for Cortalim by-poll, scheduled on June 2.
   
RTI activist and lawyer Aires Rodrigues on Friday filed a petition with Chief Electoral Officer S Kumarswamy challenging the proposed induction of Alina in the state cabinet by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, claiming it to be a violation of the code of conduct.
   
Rodrigues said the election process has already begun in the state and inducting a candidate would amount to violation of code of conduct. Joint Chief Electoral Officer Narayan Navti told reporters that they have received the petition and would be consulting the Chief Election Commissioner before taking a final call.
   
The Election Commission has also decided to approach the state government seeking their views on the petition. "Alina has not filed her nomination to contest Cortalim by-election till now. So we can't call her as a candidate. But still we will have to consult the Election Commission before deciding anything," Navti said.
   
BJP leader Matanhy Saldanha, who was inducted in the Parrikar-led cabinet as the Tourism Minister, had died on the intervening night of March 20 and 21 after suffering a massive cardiac arrest.

(Agencies)

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