After submitting a memorandum demanding the disqualification of Goa Vikas Party legislator Caetano Silva, Radharao Gracias, a counsel for Congress leader Churchill Alemao, said that the governor had assured them that the ECI would be the best judge.
“The governor listened to us earnestly and assured us that our petition demanding the disqualification of Silva as a legislator be would be recommended to the Election Commission,” Gracias told reporters after the meeting.
Goa was liberated from Portuguese regime in 1961 after more than 400 years of colonial rule.
Goans born in the colonial regime were automatically conferred Portuguese citizenship by a special privilege extended to Goa, Daman and Diu (all former colonies) and after liberation in 1961, thousands of children of native Portuguese citizens, have migrated to Portugal and Europe by adopting Portuguese nationality.
Gracias, quoting from a union ministry for home order issued last week, says that Silva had availed of Portuguese nationality and had ceased to be an Indian citizen with effect from July 21, 2010. Silva won the Benaulim legislative assembly election in March 2012.
“This means Caitu (Silva) was a Portuguese citizen when he was elected in 2012,” Gracias said.
“Caitu formally registered his birth with Lisbon’s central registry of births, marriages and deaths of Lisbon on July 21, 2010,” Gracias has said in his petition to the governor.
While the legislator has said that he would be appealing the home ministry order, the Bharatiya Janata Party has expressed its support to him.
“We will help him contest the order,” said BJP vice president Wilfred Mesquita