Panaji (Goa): Not all is well in the coalition government after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State level core committee rejected installing statue of Dr Jack Sequeira in the Legislative Assembly Complex. Not only the coalition partner has openly shown its disappointment, some BJP’s very own legislators are too not quite happy with the resolution adopted at the meeting late last night.
“My battle to install Dr Sequeira’s statue in the Assembly complex will continue. 2 (two) stalwarts of Goa I revere d (the) most 4 (for) their contribution 2 (to) Goa. Dr Dayanand Bandodkar, stressed on education & gave d (the) poor Mundkars their rightful place in the society & Dr Jack Sequeira, fought 4 (for) Goem Goenkar & Goemkarponn. Both deserve an equal place,” the vocal legislator of the BJP Michael Lobo, also Deputy Speaker tweeted.
Government’s ally partner Goa Forward Party (GFP), whose President Vijai Sardesai, also a cabinet minister has been let down by the decision. In his quick chat with some reporters, he said that his stand towards statue will remain unchanged. “I am disappointed with the resolution of the BJP party MLAs and its office bearers. My stand remains unchanged but as much I have a right to take a stand. BJP party members also have their right to take a stand. So I will not convince one and all so that better sense prevails,” he said.
Before the celebration of Asmitai Dis (Identity Day) on the Opinion Poll on January 16, both Lobo and Sardesai had decided to jointly move a resolution in the upcoming Budget session of the Assembly next month to install statue of Dr Sequeira in the Assembly complex. During the government function held at Margao on January 16, Sardesai and his cabinet colleague Jayesh Salgaonkar, also GFP leader had threatened to step down from the government if their demand is not met.
Notwithstanding the demand, BJP took a decision otherwise. “A large number of people have participated in the freedom movement, opinion poll, and the all round development of Goa. Due to this the request for installing their statues in Vidhansabha complex are likely to come up in near future and therefore the BJP does not support the demand of installing any other statue in vidhansabha complex and appeal all to support the developmental agenda of the government. BJP has full respect about the sentiments of the people and their respect, love and affection they have about Bandodkar and will not do anything to hurt their sentiments. BJP also respects the vision and work done by different leaders who guided the people of Goa to remain as separate entity under the Indian Union during the opinion poll. It is the hard work and zeal of these leaders that Goa could remain as a union territory and later get status of a State,” the resolution moved by the BJP read. The meeting was interestingly also attended by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. Sources said the minority community legislators of the BJP had expressed their displeasure over the resolution but gave in later.
There are however others who supported the decision with one of the leaders Dattaprasad Naik stating, “Lets concentrate on jobs and education for Goans and not on statues to take Goa really forward.”