PANAJI: Committed to follow the ‘growth and development with happiness’ motto, Goa Forward, a new regional political outfit launched on Monday stated that its priority would be to oust the Bharatiya Janata Party from power in the state, which has given “authoritative, corrupt, opaque and trust deficit” government to the Goans, and is “under the control of unhealthy lobbies”.
Stating that Goa Forward, if need be, would form an alliance with any political party, except the BJP, even if it has differences over certain issues with these political parties, Goa Forward president Prabhakar Timble said the party would be also committed to Goa’s inclusive development by retaining ‘Goan-ness’.
“And the people of Goa would be the high command of the party,” he pointed out, mentioning that liberalism, pluralism, openness and multilingualism, which collectively forms Brand Goa, is currently under threat.
Addressing a press conference in the city with some of the members of the executive committee of the newly formed political party, Timble said the three Independent legislators namely Vijai Sardesai, Rohan Khaunte and Naresh Sawal are sympathisers of Goa Forward, but have not joined the party yet.
“Two other sitting legislators are also in touch with us as others like zilla panchayat members, councillors of various municipalities, non-government organisations and political activists, altogether forming a broad-based group,” he added.
Timble said the political movement of Goa Forward, which would be aimed towards the election management pertaining to 2017 assembly polls, would begin from Amdai in Sanguem taluka from February 1, and spread to other parts of Goa.
“We have selected Amdai village as the epicenter of our field action since a number of coconut trees, which form the identity of Goa were felled in this village recently, after the amendment to the Goa Preservation of Trees Act,” he maintained, stating that the membership drive of the party would also commence from February 1.
Goa Forward, stating that it would soon come out with its programmes, and non-compromising as well as non-negotiable agenda, further announced its prime commitments including provision of affordable pricing of fish, coconuts and bread through subsidy cum incentive scheme, cancellation of junket tours of ministers as well as bureaucrats, and lifting special privileges and VIP racism.
Maintaining that Goa Forwards, in the event of coming to power in the state after the 2017 assembly election, would probe all irregularities in all sectors including mining and infrastructure, Timble said that as long as the judicial authority does not give any verdict in the matter, he would not like to make any statements on recovery of losses suffered by the state by way of illegal mining.
The GF president also stated that Goa Forward will constitute a 10-member committee to study the medium of instruction issue hounding the state, especially in the light of the new UNESCO report, which speaks about the concept of primary languages.
“We will take scientific stand on the MoI issue and not a political one,” he assured.
It was also informed that 50 volunteers are being trained by Goa Forward as members of the Youth Brigade, who will further train more in the future. “This way, we intend to train 2,000 volunteers in six months,” Timble revealed, mentioning that the volunteers will sensitise the public about the U-turns of the current government as also the bad state of financial affairs of Goa, with the state facing a debt of Rs 15,000 crore debt.
“We don’t want to create traditional politics,” he observed.
The 30 members of the executive committee of Goa Forward will not be contesting any election, as the party intends to keep apart its organisational wing and legislature wing, it was stated, with the information that various councils of the party as well as its state political affairs committee would be announced soon. Goa Forward has also applied for registration with the Election Commission of India, and hopes to receive registration certificate by April 2016.
Replying to a question, Timble said that although Goa Forward would accept funds from one and all, with the exception of those, which have strings attached to it, so far no funds have been received from any individual donor, companies or Hindu undivided families.
“Presently, we are functioning with the money paid by the founder members of the party,” he noted.
State secretary of the party Mohandas Lolyekar, vice-president Dr Renuka D’Silva and others were also present for the briefing.