PANJIM: The opposition Congress and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party on Monday decided to oppose the Goa Bhumiputra Adhikarini Bill and demanded its immediate withdrawal.
The Congress decision was taken at a meeting of its leaders held in the Leader of the Opposition Digambar Kamat’s chamber at the Goa Assembly Complex.
However, leaders like former MLA Agnelo Fernandes and senior spokesman Trajano D’Mello are learnt to have sought to know why the party took so many days to oppose the bill. There is already trust-deficit in the people, they said and demanded that the party leaders should now try to convince the people on this.
The leaders deliberated upon the Bill even as legal experts like former Advocate General Adv Carlos Ferreira informed the meeting that the Bill has many lacunae and will not stand the scrutiny of law.
When contacted, Congress president Girish Chodankar said that they deliberated upon the bill on three aspects – legal, political and the hidden agenda of the BJP. “We have opposed the Bill and will expose the hidden agenda of the BJP.”
Chodankar said that the party delegation will meet Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai and submit a memorandum to him on Tuesday evening.
Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) MLA Sudin Dhavalikar on Monday also demanded the immediate withdrawal of controversial Bill as it will help bhumiputra from others States residing in Goa.
Dhavalikar told the media that the Bill was hurriedly passed by the government turning down the request of the opposition to refer the Bill to the Select Committee or to hold a special Assembly session to discuss it along with some other important bills. He said the government’s move to regularise houses built on comunidade land by people from other States will be an insult to people of Goa.
Recalling representations made by the Scheduled Tribes (ST) leaders communities to the Social Welfare Department, Dhavailkar suggested that the government conduct a survey and regularise the houses built prior to 1968. He alleged that the BJP government is either acting under pressure or trying to woo voters ahead of ensuing Assembly elections.
The former Deputy Chief Minister pointed out that many Goans had lost their houses due to floods and demanded that the government reconstruct their houses as Rs 2-2.5 lakh compensation would be inadequate to construct a house with laterite stones.
According to Dhavalikar, it would require a minimum of Rs 4.5 lakh to construct a house on 40 square metres of land and with three rooms.