NCP: Only constitutional crisis will get Goa ‘special status’

August 1, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Modi and ParrikarPanaji, July 31, 2014: All 12 ministers in Goa, including Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, should resign and create a constitutional crisis so that the central government is forced to accede to the state’s demand for special status, the NCP said Thursday.

Addressing a press conference here, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) vice president Trajano D’Mello said both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had promised special status for Goa in their election manifestos, and the formal rejection of the demand Wednesday by the union home ministry showed that the BJP had “betrayed” the mandate.

“Unless a constitutional crisis is created with the resignations of the entire cabinet, including Parrikar himself, the Centre will not open its eyes,” D’Mello said.

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju via a written reply had told the Rajya Sabha that Goa’s demand for special status under article 371 of the Constitution had “not been found justifiable and hence not agreed to” since it would contravene article 19(1)(d) and 19(1)(e).

Article 19(1)(d) gives citizens the right “to move freely throughout the territory of India” while article (1)(e) accords the right “to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India”.

Rijiju asked the state government to come up with its own law to govern land issues as ‘land’ is a state subject.

For the last few years, the demand for special status has been doing the rounds in the political and social circles in Goa, which has been facing challenges due to rapid in-migration, shrinking land resources and a resultant dilution of identity.

D’Mello said the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government had turned its back on Goa, despite the popular rhetoric that the state was “lucky” for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

After being appointed chief of the BJP’s election campaign committee last year, Modi had acknowledged that Goa brought him luck.

Modi had also made a reference to the special status demand in his pre-election speech on the outskirts of Panaji.

“Goa has given Modi the perfect launch pad for eventually becoming prime minister. And despite promising its people special status before the elections, he has let the state down,” D’Mello said.

– ians

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