Can Keith Vaz campaign in Goa polls? | india | Hindustan Times
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Can Keith Vaz campaign in Goa polls?

india Updated: Feb 16, 2012 23:35 IST
HT Correspondent

In the case of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, the problem with BJP was her foreign origin. Now the issue has been turned upside down in Goa.

The question here is whether British MP Keith Vaz, who has his roots in India and in Goa at that, can take part in an election campaign.

Vaz’s campaigning on Sunday for his friend Churchill Alemao’s daughter Valanaka has ruffled many feathers. He shared the dais with Valanka (31), contesting the March 3 polls from the Benaulim constituency. When it became a big issue, he stopped campaigning abruptly.

Red-faced opponents and a section of the Goan disaspora have written to British PM David Cameron and the chief election commissioner on this.

Vaz, a six-time Labour MP from Leicester, has requested everyone to end the controversy, terming the decision to campaign a personal one.

“I know Valanka since she was a child. I was the one to inspire her to contest. So it is a personal issue,” he said, adding he respected Indian laws and its vibrant parliamentary system.

Valanka was not available for comment.

Four from the Alemao family are in the fray this time — Churchill, Valanka, Churchill’s brother Joaquim and Joaquim’s son Yuri. While the first three are contesting on the Congress ticket, ally NCP has accommodated Yuri.