Saturday 17 November 2018

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Politics | Toppling Games

Dissolution demand used for political blackmail

 

Dissolution of the Assembly has become a mere selfish demand in Goa among the politicians though majority people of the tourist state prefer an end to the musical chair, purely based on vested interest and greed for power.

After witnessing seven chief ministers in five years in the last term with series of defections, the ongoing term could also form the Congress government only after four legislators defected from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, immediately after results were declared four years ago.

The Congress rule was brought to an end within three and a half years by ten rebels, who split from the Congress to form the Goa Rajiv Congress under the leadership of Dr Wilfred de Souza. His coalition government, formed along with the MGP and the BJP, collapsed within three and a half months, as four GRC men rejoined the Congress.

Newly sworn in Congress chief minister Luizinho Faleiro won the confidence motion on Monday with one vote in the 40-member House while granting cabinet berths to both the independents supporting his government. He has also allotted to rebel GRC man Dayanand Narvekar the lucrative portfolio of the PWD, which de Souza had refused to allot him.

Seventy five year old Deu Mandrekar, another rebel from the GRC, immediately resigned as the deputy speaker to become the cabinet minister, the request that was overturned by de Souza. Mandrekar, who is partially immobile due to old age and illness, could not even pronounce his oath properly, but is considered "fit" to run the social welfare department by the Congress.

A random survey conducted by the Navhind Times, Goa's largest selling daily, clearly favoured immediate dissolution and early polls rather than continuing the greedy power games. But neither the 69 per cent favouring dissolution nor the memorandums piled up at the Cabo Raj Bhavan could impress governor Lt Gen (Retd) J F R Jacob, who preferred yet another government of defectors.

The local BJP leaders now claim that the central leadership was not in favour of imposition of Article 356, due to which the governor was allowed to take his own decision. But sources also claim that defence minister George Fernandes had even prepared a note for dissolution. But Faleiro was sworn in while union home minister L K Advani's appointment was sought for final approval.

As the governor is tight-lipped over his decision, even former union law minister Ramakant Khalap feels he should have dissolved the House by heeding the voice of his conscience. Though he feels the governor did right if gone by letter of the constitution, whether the spirit of the constitution was interpreted rightly is still a question.

Surprisingly, de Souza also seems to have gone back on his public demand of dissolution and early polls. As the present Congress government can collapse even if one independent shifts over the sides, he is still prepared to form the coalition government once again. "Why not, when the governor allows it", he asks.

Knowing the people's sentiments, even chief minister Faleiro has assured to recommend dissolution in three months if he did not live up to the expectations of Goans. But his performance would be decided by himself, he says, adding that people are free to comment. The Goans are once again taken on a ride.

Independent MLA John Manuel Vaz, now the minister, has in fact given an open challenge to all 19 legislators of de Souza's coalition to resign as the MLAs if they really want dissolution. "I would be the 20th one to sign", he says. But the opposition has still not responded, establishing a fact that greed prevails among all 40 legislators, no matter which party they belong to.    






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