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Sardinha takes exception to reservation process for ZP polls



South Goa Member of Parliament (MP) Francisco Sardinha on Tuesday raised objection to the reservation of 30 of the 50 seats for the upcoming zilla panchayat elections. He also said that he would take up the issue of people being denied access to the chapel at Angediva Island with the
defence ministry.

Addressing media persons at the Congress’ South Goa district office, Sardinha said that reservation was not done properly.

“Out of 50 seats, 30 seats are reserved which amounts to about 60 per cent of seats. Reservation is necessary but not over 50 per cent. They have arbitrarily reserved some seats for the fourth consecutive time.
This only shows that they have not applied their mind properly. They should make amends. Any reservation should not be repeated for more than two consecutive times. In some places, reservation is done for three consecutive times and in one place, a seat is reserved for fourth time,”
he said.

Sardinha was referring to Velim seat which has been reserved for the fourth consecutive time. The first time, it was reserved for women candidates, the second election year for OBC (men), the third year for OBC (women) and this year, it is reserved for OBC (general).

When asked for his opinion on whether the Congress should put up its own candidates for the elections, Sardinha said that it is up to the party. The Congress party held a meeting on Tuesday to finalise on whether to put up their own contestants or not.

On the issue of the Angediva Island where locals were stopped from celebrating the chapel feast, Sardinha said that he had taken up the issue with the defence ministry, adding “People should be allowed to celebrate
the feast.”

“From 2004, the Navy had stopped people from going to the island. Next year, on the day of feast on February 2, I will meet the defence officials to see if provision of a boat can be made and devotees allow them to go to the chapel for the feast after proper check. The issue was brought to my notice by the Catholic Association of Goa (CAG). I will authorities to reconsider such a provision for next year. Let the people pay homage to the deity and come back,” said Sardinha.

The MP also spoke about the violence that broke out in Delhi over the CAA issue. “The government should reconsider this act. I request the government to open its eyes. It is bad for the country,” he said.

Objecting to a recent notice issued by the education department to schools and colleges in the state to commemorate 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi by holding walking and cycling events for 150 kilometers, Sardinha said that the department should have applied its mind before taking such a decision.

“In this era of violence, Mahatma’s teachings of love and tolerance are very important. This should be celebrated in every school and college. The education department has sent a circular to have padyatra and cycling of 150 km. They should have applied their minds before issuing such notices. Let every school and college percolate the ideas of nonviolence through special programmes not such activities,” he said.

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