Refusing to let go of the issue of Special Status for Goa, the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party, on Friday, said that Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has recently made a related statement that “Special Status for Goa is unlikely in immediate future”, and in the future, everything is possible.
Addressing a press conference at the party’s city headquarters, the state BJP vice president Dr Wilfred Mesquita said that the Special Status demand for Goa has been kept on hold as many other states in the country are also coming out with similar demands.
“However, meanwhile the Goa government will work towards protection of land by enacting related legislations,” he noted.
“It would have been easier to achieve special status for Goa, when the Goa, Daman and Diu Reorganisation Act, 1987 was passed by the Parliament to provide statehood to the territory of Goa,” the state BJP vice president maintained, in turn questioning the rationale behind just giving up the demand for Special Status for Goa.
Dr Mesquita also pooh-poohed the function organised by the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) for administering an oath of tolerance, at Lohia Maidan in Margao, in protest against the state and central governments fostering intolerance among the people.
“The Congress party actually needs to administer the oath of repentance, after looking at the way it had ruled Goa and India, in the past,” he retorted, adding that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already assured about not tolerating any intolerance in the country, and the BJP does not need Congress to echo Modi’s sentiments.
It was also maintained that the Congress is a ‘downhill party’ and nobody wants to form a grand alliance with Congress, for the 2017 assembly elections in Goa.
Speaking further, the state BJP vice president also said that the opposition arising from the Congress party for handing over a land at the Betul plateau in South Goa, for Defence Expo is absurd, as the land belongs to the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), and it is not being sold to any interested party.
“On the contrary, the Defence Expo will be a money making proposition like the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which incidentally was also opposed initially,” he observed, adding that the Defence Expo would bring in short-term gains including visits by around 1 lakh people to the state as well as 600 companies, including 300 from outside the country, and long-term gains like setting up of defence manufacturing units in Goa.
Meanwhile, the BJP legislator Dr Pramod Sawant said that the Congress party has no right to pass remarks as to what Modi government has done for Goa, since the Congress government in India had failed to even give representation to the Goan MPs in the Union cabinet.
“Modiji has not only included two Goans – Manohar Parrikar and Shripad Naik – in his cabinet but also provided funds amounting to Rs 4,225 crore for various state projects, including Rs 3,000 crore for the proposed Zuari Bridge,” he pointed out, adding that the Defence Ministry has also provided a large order to Goa Shipyard Limited, for building 12 minesweepers valued at Rs 32,000 crore, which will create many jobs for locals, besides improving state economy.