Panaji, Nov 22:
The union home ministry has confirmed that Goa BJP legislator Caitu Silva, who represents Benaulim, is actually a Portuguese citizen, said the lawyer of a petitioner who had challenged the nationality of the legislator.
Speaking to reporters here Friday, Radharao Gracias, lawyer for Melvyn Fernandes, said that the home ministry communique, a copy of which he distributed to the media, was based on confirmation from the Portuguese government that Caitu had changed nationality in 2010, two years before the March 2012 polls which he won.
“This means Caitu 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 said.
Gracias’s case challenging the BJP legislator’s nationality had been pending with the Supreme Court for several weeks now.
Contacted for his reaction, Caitu said that he had not seen the order yet and was therefore unable to comment.
“Let me see the order first,” he said.
Goa was a colony of the Portuguese right up to 1961, when the Indian army liberated the state. The Portuguese government bestows its citizenship to ethnic Goans, whose parents were born inPortuguese-held Goa. (IANS)