Former Goa Cong chief wants removal of Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar
Picture credits : ANI
Girish Chodankar, the former Goa Pradesh Congress Committee supremo, has accused Goa Legislative Assembly Speaker, Ramesh Tawadkar of actively engaging in party politics. He has called for Tawadkar’s removal in order to preserve the independence of the Speaker’s Chair and the dignity of the state assembly. Chodankar noted that Tawadkar had attended a meeting of the BJP’s ST Morcha in New Delhi alongside the State party presidents, which goes against the democratic convention that Speakers should give up all partisan affiliations once elected. He highlighted that the only exceptions to this have been the tenures of Speaker Pramod Sawant and now Tawadkar.
Chodankar has expressed his outrage over Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar’s attendance at a BJP political meeting. He believes that the Speaker has not only failed to remain neutral and respect the constitutional position but has gone as far as to actively participate in political activities and mission to destroy the Constitution of India. Chodankar further noted that during the election canvassing visit of BJP Presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu, Speaker Tawadkar had adjourned the session of the House well before lunch break. He was seen on the dais at a campaign meeting during a session of the House. Chodankar condemned this behaviour as partisan, immoral and anti-democratic, and stated that the Speaker has failed to uphold the dignity of the august house and his esteemed chair of the house.
Chodankar questioned whether, as Speaker, Tawadkar could attend a party meeting and display public affiliation with party politics. He argued that the Speaker is expected to be neutral and not take sides on political considerations and that, by doing so, Tawadkar had lost the right to hold the prestigious Chair. As a result, Chodankar demanded Tawadkar’s resignation with immediate effect. He further argued that, as a quasi-judicial authority for four disqualification petitions, Goans could not expect justice if Tawadkar continued as Speaker, as he would be guided by party interests and would succumb to work under party instructions.
Chodankar stated that it is essential for Speakers to prioritize the Constitution over their party loyalties. This is a widely accepted practice in our country, wherein the Speaker of the House resigns from all party positions upon being elected. Additionally, the Constitution has made provisions for the Speaker to resign from their primary membership of the original political party, and the tenth schedule provides the Speaker with protections in this regard.