VIKAS KAMAT, Margao
I agree with Bhagwan A Verlekar (Improve Quality of Debate in Assembly – NT, Aug 3) that the quality of our Goa assembly’s debate needs to be improved. Today, many of our Opposition MLAs are former chief ministers, but none of them seems to have the genuine interest in opposing the government’s programmes. The Opposition is not doing its job properly, as was recently seen in the failure of the Congress MLAs to counter the transfer of developmental rights (TDR) proposal. Treasury MLAs too are not very studious, barring a few exceptions. One is reminded of efficient legislators like Dr Kashinath Jalmi and the then leader of Opposition (LoP) Manohar Parrikar. Despite his ill-health, Chief Minister Parrikar seems to still steer the ship of his government effectively. He is assisted by certain able ministers like Rohan Khaunte, Vijai Sardesai and Mauvin Godinho. My attempt is not to belittle any particular MLA, but to highlight the grave paucity of effective legislative intervention by them. How many Private Member Bills are seriously drafted and introduced in the House during the Private Member’s Business on Fridays? Why are the MLAs disinterested in ensuring that the various committees operate well? Parrikar’s rise to power in 2012 was mainly owing to his public accounts committee (PAC) report on mining when he was the LoP. Perhaps our MLAs need a crash course on the various mechanisms of intervention available to the legislators in a democratic legislature.