Say the circular prohibiting their names on plaques is conspiracy to finish off the Bahujan Samaj; Demand its immediate withdrawal
PONDA: Five sarpanchas from Priol constituency on Sunday expressed anger at the government for issuing a circular prohibiting inscription of the names of sarpanchas in project plaques in their respective villages.
They alleged that since most of the sarpanchas in Goa are from the Bahujan Samaj community, the government was intentionally trying to deprive them the credit for the developmental works done by them in their respective villages. “This is a conspiracy to finish off the Bahujan Samaj,” they alleged.
The sarpanchas warned of boycotting government programmes in their respective villages if the circular was not withdrawn.
The incident occurred at Querim panchayat during a function to lay foundation stone for the construction of two 800 cubic metre water storage tanks and commissioning of 300 mm and 250 mm dia pipelines.
When the name plaque was opened, the sarpanchas realised that it had inscribed on it the names of the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, PWD Minister Sudin Davlikar, Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude, Querim ZP member Babitha Gaonkar, but not the name of Querim Sarpanch Anisha Gaude.
Angered that the name of Anisha Gaude was missing in the plaque, the locals and the sarpanchas said that “it is a great injustice to the Bahujan Samaj.”
In an effort to pacify the agitated sarpanchas, Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude said that he regretted that the name of Anisha Gaude was not inscribed in the plaque.
“The PWD engineers and other officials must know to maintain the protocol; they should have included the name of Querim sarpanch in the plaque. In case, it was a mistake, then, they should rectify it within a short span of time,” he said.
However, Dhavalikar informed that the government had issued a circular that in municipal areas, besides the ministers, the name plates would be limited only to the name of the chairperson, while in panchayats only the name of the Zilla Panchayat member would be inscribed in the name plate of development works. “So, accordingly this rule was followed today here,” he said.
However, he said that it was his personal opinion that the names of the sarpanchas and panchas concerned should be included in the name plaque.
Addressing a press joint conference after the official function, the five sarpanchas condemned the government for issuing the circular and demanded its immediate withdrawal.
Bethki Khandola Sarpanch Dilip Naik said, “Since the Bahujan people become sarpanchs and shines at local village level politics, the government wants to deprive them the credit for the work done by them. This is a conspiracy and an attempt to finish off the Bahujans. If this continues, then, the next time the sarpanchas will boycott the government functions.”
Volvoi Deputy Sarpanch Digambar Tari said that the sarpanch is the first citizen of the village and without his and panch members’ efforts, development works can’t proceed. “The sarpanch puts in great efforts to get NOC from the land owners; prepares the plans; follows up with the officials, while the role of the minister comes later,” he said. Tari is currently holding the charge of sarpanch.
Veling Priol Cuncoliem Sarpanch Mangaldas Gaude said that he was saddened that the name of Querim sarpanch was not inscribed on name plate.
“No doubt the ZPs do some work; but the most important role is played the sarpanchas and the panchas in executing developmental works in their respective villages. We feel very bad and hurt,” he said.
Verem Vagurme Sarpanch Satyawan Shilkar said that more than the ministers, the sarpanch puts in lot of work to execute a developmental work. “Many a time, the locals take the sarpanchas to task and condemn them for delay in completing the works. Despite this, the government has denied them their due credit,” Shilkar regretted.