Informing that the National Democratic Alliance has extended its full support to the state...
PANAJI: Informing that the National Democratic Alliance has extended its full support to the state government as regards its demand for a special status to Goa, the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday said that the opposition Congress party should now take up the matter with the Centre and try to garner the support of the United Progressive Alliance for the same.
The Chief Minister also agreed to take a delegation of all 40 MLAs from Goa to the national capital, if need be, for putting this demand before the central government.
Responding to a Zero Hour mention on the related issue from the Dabolim MLA, Mr Mauvin Godinho, the Chief Minister said that the national president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Mr Nitin Gadkari has already assured him about the NDA’s support to the demand. BJP is the leading partner of the particular political group.
Speaking further, the Chief Minister said that he would be meeting the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh during his proposed visit to Mumbai on August 17, for attending the150th anniversary celebrations of the Bombay High Court. “And then there is a meeting of the Chief Ministers of all BJP ruled states in Delhi, later this month,” he said, pointing out that the demand as regards special status for Goa would also be discussed at the particular meet.
Mr Parrikar maintained that Goa needs recognition by way of a special status more so for preserving its unique identity than anything else including financial packages. “And for conferring the special status on Goa, Article 371 of the Constitution needs to be amended,” he said, noting that the government is already working out legislations such as ban on sale of agricultural land to non-agriculturalists and so on.
The state presently contributes over Rs 10,000 crore annually to the Centre from direct and indirect taxes, while it gets back a pittance as central allocation in return.