Will Parrikar pursue special status for Goa?
PANJIM: With the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs clearing the various features of the bill for passage in Parliament to amend Article 371 of the constitution to give special status to various regions and states, the question is will Goa feature among these states to allow the Goa government to have powers to enact laws to protect the land, language and culture of Goa, through special status?
BJP’s new Karnataka CM Jagdish Shettar is camping in Delhi to mobilize the support of BJP MPs from all states for smooth passage of the bill since Karnataka is lobbying for inclusion of the Hyderabad-Karnataka region for special status. Question is whether
Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar will join forces with Shettar to push Goa’s case for special status given the threat to Goa’s land, culture and language and the fear of minoritisation of Goans in their own state?
Goa’s Member of Parliament Shantaram Naik, when informed about the Centre’s initiative and Karnataka CM’s moves said that this is a welcome development and Shettar’s move will give a fillip to the Goa demand. Naik said that if Goa’s BJP government pushes for Special Status for Goa, he would do every effort to support the move from Delhi by using his good offices with the ruling UPA.
Art 371 includes various states for various reasons, Goa’s name features there for its demand to have 40 MLAs, whereas Nagaland and other North Eastern states are included to protect their land and culture. Goa government in earlier attempt had passed an amendment to allow the Goa government to instruct the sub registrar not to register certain deeds in public interest to protect the land. However that bill did not get the president’s assent citing unconstitutionality. Amendment to Art 371 is required and Goa’s name should be included to give the Goa Government powers to enact law to protect the land, language and culture MP Shantaram Naik stated.