Panaji, June 30 (IANS) Former Goa Chief Minister and Congress MLA Luizinho Faleiro on Saturday said he will move a private member’s bill in the upcoming monsoon session of the state Legislative Assembly, seeking special status for Goa.
“There is a need for a small state like Goa to preserve and protect its unique identity, culture, tradition, heritage and its landscape, under Article 375 of the Constitution. The bill will be a step towards getting special status for Goa,” Faleiro told a press conference at state Congress state headquarters here.
For the last few years, the talks of seeking special status for Goa have been doing the rounds in the political and social circles in the state, which has been facing challenges stemming from rapid in-migration, shrinking land resources and a resultant dilution of identity.
The issue of special status had been raised by all the major political parties in Goa, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress, in the run-up to the 2012 state Assembly polls and the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The BJP-led coalition government which was subsequently voted to power, was instrumental in moving a unanimous resolution in the Assembly demanding special status for Goa.
But, after winning the polls, then Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar had said that the seeking special status for Goa was like “running after a mirage”.
Over the last couple of years, top BJP national leaders have also rejected the possibility of Goa being granted special status through a constitutional amendment.
Faleiro now claims that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in Delhi, has the necessary numerical strength to grant special status to Goa by a legislative act, which he claimed was not the case with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government which was in power at the Centre from 2004-2014.
“Now, the present government could have definitely given special status because they have got the desired majority in Parliament and they have done in many cases like in judicial accountability bill which was ratified by Parliament,” Faleiro said.
The 12-day monsoon session of the Goa legislative assembly is scheduled to begin from July 19.