MLAs Must Not Take People For Granted

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PACHU MENON, Margao

Taking a cue from the Vice President’s sagely advice to the lawmakers on the occasion of the Goa Legislators’ Day function, it does appear that some of the MLAs in the state have decided to take their responsibility as the people’s representatives a bit more seriously. The emotional letter by the Health Minister to the Chief Minister urging him to move the proposed IIT project out of Sattari taluka and Usgao may be one such instance of the ‘change in perspective’ vis-à-vis their duties towards their constituents. But going by past experiences, it is difficult to attribute this sudden change of heart to anything but an impromptu reaction to the highly volatile situation at ground zero in Shel-Melaulim. With the anti-IIT holler reverberating across Sattari, the ongoing agitation of locals seems set to snowball into a political disaster of sorts. The response to such a grave threat to one’s blossoming career could not have been anything different and the Health Minister’s U-turn on the IIT project cannot be seen as anything but a sheer political ploy. As we are well aware, it was the Valpoi MLA who suggested that the proposed project be shifted to Sattari after it failed to find favour elsewhere in the state. But the very fact that the MLA’s decision did not have the mandate of the people of Sattari is quite obvious from the public fury that is in evidence over the matter now. Lest they forget, it is such an attitude, which borders on arrogance that has alienated many of the present-day legislators from their voters. People just cannot be taken for granted! No wonder then that the villagers opposing the IIT project in Melauli have reservations about the new stance taken by their MLA! With two other ministers in his cabinet seemingly echoing similar sentiments over the matter of projects being thrust down the throats of Goans, the Chief Minister could well prepare himself for a ‘sudden awakening’ among his colleagues as regards the protection of the interests of Goa and its people.