In an unusual development, the Speaker of the Goa legislative assembly was on Tuesday forced to cut short the budget session midway, after Opposition MLAs said that discussions related to announcements made by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant in his budget speech could not be held in wake of an election code of conduct coming into force in the state ahead of polls to five municipal councils.
The enforcement of the Code of conduct for the polls to municipalities in Mapusa, Mormugao, Margao, Sanguem and Quepem was announced by State Election Commissioner W V Ramanamurthy earlier on Tuesday. The polls are scheduled to be held on April 23.
Soon after the announcement, Opposition MLAs wrote to the Speaker, urging him to cut short the ongoing proceedings and postpone discussion related to the budget at a subsequent date.
“Considering their (opposition) request, we have prorogued the assembly,” Chief Minister Pramod Sawant told the legislative assembly, after a meeting of the business advisory committee of the state legislative assembly. The assembly will be reconvened again in July this year, he said.
In a letter to the Speaker Opposition MLAs including Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat had said: "During the election process and especially when the election code of conduct is in force, it is important that the government in power should not make any announcements, declare any schemes and give any assurances which may directly or indirectly influence the minds of the people and have an impact on elections".
The budget session which started earlier this month was scheduled to be held till April 3.