Sunday 23 February 2020

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Will anti-CAA rally of Church change political equations in Goa?

 

The ruling BJP of Goa was least shaken up with anti-CAA & NRC rallies also being held in Goa under different banners, but not until the Goa Church entered the nationwide movement. Completing the circle, the huge rally held in Madgao today brought together the Christians, Muslims and the liberal Hindus on one platform.

The rally was initiated by Council for Social Justice & Peace (CSJP), the organ of Goa Church formed for social issues, along with National Confederation of Human Rights and Concerned Citizens of Goa. Unlike in the past, the huge crowd was this time dominated by Christians as well as Muslims together, along with Hindus.

The speakers included, besides CSJP Convenor Fr Savio Fernandes, Dr Francisco Colaco, Damodar Mauzo, Dr Oscar Rebello, Prabhakar Timble, Muzaffar Shaikh, Rama Kankonkar & Debashree Yaduvanshi.

And five MLAs in the audience, besides other political leaders. Digambar Kamat, Luizinho Faleiro and Alex Reginald Lourenco of Congress, Churchill Alemao of NCP and Vijai Sardesai of Goa Forward.  Also Dr Claude Avlares of Goa Foundation among the prominent social activists.

15 V/S 27

None of the BJP MLAs belonging to Christian community either from Saxtti or South Goa attended the rally.

There was no direct mention of the politicians at the rally, except by Damodar Mauzo and Dr Oscar Rebello.

Mauzo expressed concern over the increasing trend among politicians to cross over by backstabbing the voters and appealed to the people to beware of such dubious politicians.

And while dubbing Goa’s politics as a joke, Dr Rebello appealed to those who cross over and join the BJP not to give up their stand against the CAA and NRC, amidst applause.

Saxtti and Mormugao has total six MLAs  belonging to minority communities – ministers Mauvin Godinho (Dabolim) & Philp Neri Rodrigues (Velim) besides MLAs Carlos Almeida (Vasco), Alina Saldanha (Cortalim), Wilfred D’Sa alias Babashan (Verna) and Clafacio Dias (Cuncolim).

And in South Goa, also Nilesh Cabral (Curchorem) and Deputy Speaker Isidore Fernandes (Canacona).

Out of 27, BJP has almost 15 MLAs belonging to the minorities, outnumbering the majority community.

Seven more are from North Goa: Michael Lobo (Calangute) and Jennifer Monserratte (Taleigao) as well as MLAs Glenn Ticlo (Aldona), Joshua D’Souza (Mapusa), Babush Monserratte (Panaji), Tony Fernanades (St Cruz) and Francis Silveira (St Andre), making it 15.

ONLY 3 BJP CADRES IN GOVT

Besides these, those who crossed over from Congress & MGP are Deputy Chief Ministers Babu Kavalekar (Quepem) and Babu Azgaonkar (Pedne), minister Deepak Pauskar (Sanvordem) as well as Nilkanth Halarnkar (Tivim).

Three MLAs got elected on Congress  tickets in 2017 but later resigned to join the BJP and got re-elected are minister Vishwajeet Rane (Valpoi) as well as Subhash Shirodkar (Shiroda) and Dayanand Sopte (Mandrem).

And the four more Congressmen who joined the BJP little before 2017 Assembly election are minister Mauvin Godinho (Dabolim), Speaker Rajesh Patnekar, Pandurang Madkaikar (Cumbarjua) and Pravin Zantye (Mayem).

The only MLAs from original BJP cadres, out of these 27, are Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant and ministers Milind Naik and Nilesh Cabral.

Political circles claim that Church adopted a political strategy  in 2017 Assembly election to support minority community candidates of BJP and supported the Congress where BJP had no minority candidates. This helped the Church to remain close to power, no matter who comes to power.

NON-NEGOTIABLE: CHURCH

But the Church has now openly come out against BJP’s policy on amended Citizens’ Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).

In a resolution passed at Lohia Maidan today evening, Fr Savio Fernandes clearly stated that  

We demand that we have access to a Sovereign Socialist Secular democratic republic which grants all its citizens justice, social, economic and political….

…In view of this vicious and deceitful method of de-citizenizing millions of people, we as people must not only reject the proposed NPR process but refuse to cooperate with NPR… Towards this, we issue a call to oppose any illegal enforcements of the law. 

….If it arrogates power to enforce the laws, it will face stubborn and unceasing resistance.

As the resolution has also stated that ‘this is our firm and non-negotiable conviction’ it is amply clear that the Church will neither sympathise nor support the BJP any more.

In view of this, it needs to be seen what stand the BJP MLAs belonging to minority community take when Zilla Panchayat elections are round the corner, on 15th March, and the next Assembly election is hardly two years ahead, before March 2022.

The BJP had a pro-CAA rally in Panaji on 3rd March, which was attended by now-BJP national president J P Nadda. While many BJP leaders including CM Dr Pramod Sawant spoke at the meeting, the only MLA belonging to minority community who spoke was minister Mauvin Godinho. Others preferred to sit on the dais, quietly.

According to sources in the BJP, the issue of Church-organised rally also came up for discussion at ruling party legislators’ meeting held at CM’s residence on 22nd January. Some MLAs said they are being pressurised to attend the rally.

Finally, no BJP MLA attended the Madgao rally today. But the tension is not over. Rather, it is mounting...





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90% Indians don’t have Birth Certificate who is born in 1990, 1980, 1970, 1960, 1950 and so on. There is no need for any new exercise. If new exercise then Corrupt Government Officials will have the last laugh and they will become the richest people in the whole world. Citizenship/Nationality to Indians should be given with the existing documents like Ration, Aadhar, Voting, PAN, Passport, etc.

 
Jack De Goan , Goa

Citizenship/Nationality to Indians should be given with the existing documents like Ration, Aadhar, Voting, PAN, Passport, etc. There is no need for any new exercise. If new exercise then Corrupt Government Officials will have the last laugh and they will become the richest people in the whole world. 90% Indians don’t have Birth Certificate who is born in 1990, 1980, 1970, 1960, 1950 and so on.

 
Jack De Goan , Goa

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