Saturday, 16 February, 2019

Sequeira statue: Salcete set to vote en bloc in support

Some support likely from Quepem, Canacona, Ponda and Mormugao

Story: GUILHERME | ALMEIDA | 14th February 2018, 01:05 Hrs


Fifty-one years after it voted decisively to stop Goa’s merger into neighbouring Maharashtra at historic Opinion Poll, Salcete is all set to vote en bloc for the resolution in support of installation of statue of Jack Sequeira in the Goa Legislative Assembly if Speaker Pramod Sawant puts the resolutions for voting.  

That’s not all. Odds seem to favour the resolution in support of Jack Sequeira’s statue in South Goa and Salcete taluka is expected to vote overwhelmingly for it. Besides Salcete, the talukas of Quepem and Canacona, and to some extent Ponda and Mormugoa, are also expected to rally behind the resolution.

Otherwise, consider the political arithmetic. Take the case of Salcete. With as many as six of the eight MLAs belonging to the Congress and the remaining two to the Goa Forward and NCP, Salcete is expected to vote en bloc for the resolution since all three political parties have publicly backed the proposal to install Sequeira’s statue in the Assembly complex. 

In fact, while Goa Forward Party Chief and TCP Minister, Vijai Sardesai, may claim credit for bringing back the need for statue in the public domain, NCP legislator Churchill Alemao has tabled a resolution in the Assembly in support of it.

Given that the Congress party is representing the two southern assembly constituencies of Quepem and Canacona held by the Leader of Opposition Babu Kavlekar and Isidore Fernandes respectively, both the talukas are expected to vote in support of the resolution.  

Similarly, some support is expected from Ponda taluka. Both Ponda and Shiroda constituencies, represented by MLA Ravi Naik and Subhash Shirodkar, respectively, are expected to vote for the statue in tune with the resolution adopted by the Congress Legislature Party. On the other hand, it’s still unclear on the stand adopted by Independent MLA from Priol and Minister for Art and Culture Minister Govind Gawde on the issue, even as MGP leader and PWD Minister Sudin Dhavlikar representing neighbouring Madkai has already expressed his strong reservations.

As far as Mormugao taluka is concerned where all four assembly constituencies are represented by the BJP, it’s unclear whether Panchayat Minister, Mauvin Godinho, Milind Naik, Alina Saldanha and Carlos Almeida will toe the party line, though Alina has come out in support of the statue.

Similarly, the stand of Sanguem Independent MLA Prasad Gaonkar also remains unknown, while neighbouring Sanvordem MLA Deepak Pauskar is expected to toe the party line.  

Says TCP Minister Vijai Sardesai: “There’s a golden opportunity before all the political parties and Independents to join hands and pass the resolution supporting Sequiera’s statute. I have already done my bit by developing the Old Market Circle-Ravindra Bhavan road as the Opinion Poll square with the commemorative plaques of the historic poll’s stalwarts and legends”.  

On the other hand, NCP Benaulim MLA Churchill Alemao, who has tabled a resolution in support of the statue, said all should join hands to pass the resolutions. 

Churchill, however, said he would press for a division of votes in the event attempts are being made to scuttle the resolutions.