04 Apr 2024  |   06:34am IST

Mission Political Reservation for STs of Goa suffers a jolt, four members quit

Rupesh Velip, Rama Kankonkar, Soiru Velip and Dr Satyawan Gaonkar officially resign from the Mission citing personal reasons

Team Herald

PANJIM: The Mission Political Reservation for Scheduled Tribes of Goa received a major setback after four of its members officially resigned citing personal reasons.

Those who resigned from the organisation include Rupesh Velip, Rama Kankonkar, Soiru Velip and Dr Satyawan Gaonkar. The four leaders were upset after Mission president Adv Joao Fernandes and two others were part of the Goa delegation which met the union home minister in Delhi but failed to convince the Centre to issue an ordinance to reserve seats for the ST communities in the Goa Legislative Assembly.

Addressing a press conference, Mission Political Reservation for STs of Goa president Adv Joao Fernandes said, “Their resignations have been accepted and they are now no more connected with the Mission.”

Adv Fernandes on Wednesday said, “The mission will stay neutral and will continue its activities to achieve its objective once the next government is formed at Centre.”

Adv Fernandes said, ''We believe that the govt woke up from their deep sleep when mission along with other 16 ST organisations gave a call to boycott the Lok Sabha elections of 2024. The wheels started rolling thereafter. The opposition MLAs raised the issue in the Goa Assembly followed by passing of a unanimous resolution and further a cabinet decision at the Centre to give political reservations for the STs of Goa. However, this Mission is not satisfied with this decision as the demand was to constitute a delimitation commission prior to the declaration of Lok Sabha elections.''

Later speaking to mediapersons, Rupesh Velip, the former Secretary of the Mission, said that he resigned as he was against giving political mileage to any political party. “People asked me to come out of the Mission. The way BJP has cheated us, after giving us hope, will be taught a lesson,” he said.

When asked whether they are mulling to field candidates for the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, Velip said, “Discussions are on, various suggestions forwarded by the people on the issue. A final call will be taken. All the ST groups and people are with us. Earlier we gave a call to boycott elections and now we are saying that we are neutral. It is wrong.”

Soiru Velip said, “When ‘morchas’ were being planned then coordinators of the Mission were not taken into confidence. Major decisions were taken sidelining those who were really working. That is why I decided to resign.”


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