Letters

Goa CM’s inexplicable rollbacks

 

Quite unlike the resolve shown by Prime Minister Modi and his team to ignore the resolute demands from various quarters for repealing the amended citizenship act, the regularity with which the Chief Minister of Goa has been withdrawing ‘promulgations’ made by him under pressure from the Opposition parties does indeed come as a big surprise. The North Goa district administration has withdrawn Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code banning unlawful assembly of people which was imposed earlier after intelligence inputs about possible terror threat along the western coast. Although the Opposition parties were right in questioning the security restrictions ordered by the State administration on large gatherings ahead of the carnival festivities as it would adversely affect the tourism industry, it is astonishing to have the CM wilting under pressure so easily. Despite the overwhelming ‘majority’ that he enjoys in the house, a handful of Opposition legislators and their ‘histrionics’ were able to unsettle him!

Just recently, following strong objection from the civil society, village panchayats and Opposition parties, the Pramod Sawant-led government hurriedly withdrew the controversial order notifying urban status to 56 villages under the Goa Land Revenue Code, 1968. The justifications proffered by the government in each of these cases are as much cloaked in ambiguity as are the reasons for imposing them in the first place. To add further to the unease, the Archbishop of Goa has urged the Central government to immediately and unconditionally revoke the Citizenship Amendment Act and desist from implementing the NCR and the NPR’, and stop quashing ‘the right to dissent’. Although the divide in the Cabinet on this issue is quite obvious, the Church’s stand will severely dent the political fortunes of the eight Congress turncoats who joined the BJP in July last year. Hence the urgent meeting sought by the Chief Minister with the Archbishop appears to be the reactions of a harried leader who senses matters slipping out of his hands. And now, the State government’s ‘technical ground’ explanation notwithstanding, Mr. Sawant’s critics claim the nod by the Supreme Court allowing the Karnataka government plea that the Mhadei Tribunal award be notified by the Central government is a definite setback for the government. Succumbing to pressure from the Centre, he stands accused of compromising on the contentious issue. Is the CM out to save his chair?

Pachu Menon,

Margao, Goa

 

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 12:22:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/goa-cms-inexplicable-rollbacks/article30897548.ece

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