MARGAO: Alleging those who were in favour of the merger is now in the ruling, former deputy chief minister and MLA of Fatorda Vijai Sardesai on Wednesday stated that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has hidden agenda to merge Dodamarg into Goa. He has also criticised the government for not organising any State-level function with regard to the Opinion Poll Day, which is on January 16.
He was speaking at the function organised by the History department of Carmel College in collaboration with Goa Forward Party at Opinion Poll square at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao. Chairperson of Margao Municipal Council Pooja Naik, besides vice-president of Goa Forward Party Prashant Naik, councillors Glen Andrade, Lyndon Fernandes, and Angelis Pereira were also present at the function.
Vijai alleged that the BJP government is not at all concerned with regard to the identity of Goa and that is the only reason the government did not want to celebrate the Opinion Poll day in Goa. "The BJP government wants to dilute the identity of Goa," he alleged.
He further said, "At the time of Opinion Poll it was just a simple majority of 54 per cent against the merger and 43 per cent in favour, which has saved the Goa from merging into Maharashtra. The people at that time were in favour of merger are now in the ruling," he added.
Vijai criticised the government for not organising any State-level function with regard to Opinion Poll day. "The government has announced the restricted holiday on January 16 and on the other side the education department had organised a Constitution Day. It was a duty of the government to organise a State-level function because of the opinion poll who gives us the identity of being a separate State," he stated.
He also said that it is proven that the opinion poll is not all the priority of the government.
"Today we are witnessing the reverse merger and that is merging a part of Maharashtra into Goa. BJP government have their hidden agenda to merge Dodamarg into Goa and hence people of Goa need to be alert. BJP wants to put the Goans into minorities," he added.
Reacting to the statement of Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant on the Jawaharlal Nehru he said, "We can't tolerate the insult to first Prime Minister of India. Nehru has given us justice. The 14 years of delay in giving the liberation to Goa by late PM Nehru could have been for better prospects. If he had given the liberation to Goa at a time when there was a strong move to merge Goa into Maharashtra, Goa would have been merged at that time only. The haste of giving liberation to Goa could have resulted in merging Goa into Maharashtra," said Vijai.
"We cannot understand why the BJP government is not in favour of erecting the statue of Dr Jack Sequeira. If the government did not want to erect the statue at Assembly complex, why not we are allowed to do that in Fatorda? That means the government has not a priority with regard to the identity of Goa. Because Opinion Poll has given the identity and the government is deliberately ignoring the fact," he alleged.