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Goa India News Politics

Close to 79% turnout in Goa panchayat polls

A total of 5,038 candidates were in fray from 1,464 wards. While the 186 panchayats have a total of 1,528 wards, 64 candidates have won unopposed…reports Asian Lite News

The elections for 186 panchayats in Goa recorded a turnout of 78.70 per cent, officials said on Wednesday.

The counting will be held on August 12.

Ward No 9 from Calangute village will go for fresh polls on Thursday, as authorities were forced to declare the voting void, allegedly due to some technical reasons.

Addressing a press conference, Goa State Election Commission Secretary Brijesh Manerikar said 78.70 per cent voting had been recorded, when the voting process ended at 5 p.m.

“The election process was peaceful. No untoward incident was reported. In spite of heavyA ain, voters exercised their right (to franchise),” he said.

A total of 5,038 candidates were in fray from 1,464 wards. While the 186 panchayats have a total of 1,528 wards, 64 candidates have won unopposed.

Manerikar said that about 7,96,070 voters were eligible to cast votes, out of which 6,26,496 voters exercised their franchise.

“Male voters were 2,99,707, while female voters were 3,26,788 and one of third gender. In North (Goa district) the voting percentage was 81.45, while in the South, it was 76.13 per cent,” he said.

He said that the highest voting of 89.30 per cent has been recorded in Sattari Taluka, while lowest was 68.33 percent in Salcete taluka.

The GSEC had reserved 21 seats (1.37 per cent) for Schedule Castes, 187 (12.32 per cent) for Schedule Tribes and 307 (20.1 per cent) for OBCs.

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Saraswat community entrepreneurs to meet at global Annual Conclave in Goa

Saraswat community entrepreneurs and professionals across the globe will assemble to attend the third Annual Conclave of Global Chamber of Saraswat Entrepreneurs (GCSE) on September 17 in Panjim, Goa at the Panjim Gymkhana, reports Rahul Laud

At a one day conference In Goa, the GCSE members will rub shoulders speaking Konkani and English representing different Saraswats form Kashmir to Kanyakumari. The Saraswat Bank is the obvious choice to be the lead sponsor of the one day conclave. Indian hoteliers Vithal Kamat and Natural Ice Creams owner Raghunandan Kamat are among some top business tycoons likely to attend the Conclave, Goa based renowned President of MAIT, Nitin Kunkolinkar and ALCON’s entrepreneur Anil Couto are among those actively interested and promoting the conclave in Goa. Upendra Pai Raikar who owns Conquer Events in Goa and who is a member of GCSE will offer his professional services to ensure that the Conclave will be smooth, effective and successful.

Entrepreneurs and management professionals from different Industries based in cities like Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Kolhapur, Belgaum, Banglore, Mangalore, Nagpur, Indore etc. and members from cities like Dubai, Singapore ,London , Australia and USA are likely to participate in the one day Conclave. The registration fees are Rs. 3000 for Non-members and Rs. 2500 for Members.

Led by Founder Director Siddharth Sinkar an active team is travelling to different parts of India to encourage Saraswats to join GCSE and participate in the Conclave. Recently the team from Mumbai visited Pune and other parts in Western Maharashtra and also travelled to the state of Karnataka to meet the Pai Empire there. Board of Directors at GCSE who volunteer to strengthen Chamber’s activities include: BHUSHAN S. NEMLEKAR, PRASANNA PRABHAKAR REGE, AMIT A. PANDIT, VAIBHAV RAJEEV WARERKAR, DR. AJIT GUNJIKAR, KISHORE MASURKAR, GAUTAM DANGI, AJAY BHALCHANDRA PINGE, GIRISH TELANG, SAMIT SUBHASH SARAF, DR.RIA HRUSHIKESH VAIDYA,     

According to the members of GCSE community business leaders from different parts of India and outside had joined hands to form the Global Chamber of Saraswat Entrepreneurs (section 8 company registered in India with the Ministry of Company Affairs as Non-Profit Organisation) on 12 September 2019 and restructured the nearly 30 year old defunct Saraswat Chamber of Commerce which was earlier formed by the powerful politician Suresh Prabhu. Main objective of Saraswat Chamber is to promote entrepreneurship amongst community members and create a platform for connecting all community members across the globe.

With a membership fee of Rs 4500 for three years the GCSE has mustered a support of 250 odd members despite Covid conditions in the last two years. With a vision “to build a wise, vibrant and prosperous community ecosystem for Saraswats in Business or Profession providing maximum opportunity and value” the GSCE is dedicated, “to serving Saraswat business community growth and prosperity through advocacy, enabling effective access to opportunities and resources, capacity building, economic development, connectivity and business education,” says Siddharth Sinkar, a Mumbai resident.

The Saraswat community is largely comprehended as an ethical and philanthropic community, channelling and harnessing our energies for the collective excellence of society. In business and commerce field the community has been a frontrunner in Banking and cooperatives sector. As an ethnic group Saraswats have lot of cultural and support organisations effectively running for over a century. Predominantly the community are known as seekers of knowledge and have made significant contribution in education, trade and commerce and service sector and showcased an exemplary entrepreneurial spirit fine-balancing wisdom and wealth with grace and élan.

For more information visit www.saraswatchamber.com or write to info@saraswatchamber.com

ALSO READ: Anand Rajpurohit bags ‘Emerging Entrepreneur’ award

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Goa to be the knowledge and tech hub of India

The government has shown readiness to provide land to educational institutions. Along with engineering colleges like the Goa Engineering College, NIT, IIT and others, Goa has a footprint in medical colleges also…reports Sanjay Borkar

While the Goa government is fast tracking the completion of the National Institute of Technology (NIT) campus at Cuncolim in South Goa, it has also identified 7.50 lakh square metres of land in Sanguem constituency of South Goa for setting up an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).

With this the government is trying to achieve the goal of making Goa the knowledge and technology hub of the country.

Goa will also start a National Forensic Science University, the campus of which would come up in Dharbandora, twelfth taluka of the state. The university has already started operating from a temporary campus at Ponda in South Goa.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said that he wants to make Goa the knowledge and technology hub of the country. He has also made a budgetary allocation to implement the National Education Policy 2020.

Sawant stated that government land was encroached upon and slums were seen mushrooming there. This land can be utilised to make Goa the educational hub and innovation centre under the Public Private Partnership model.

The government has shown readiness to provide land to educational institutions. Along with engineering colleges like the Goa Engineering College, NIT, IIT and others, Goa has a footprint in medical colleges also.

Amid the sustained criticism of the Portuguese for carrying out forcible religious conversions in Goa, Sawant had a rare moment of praise for the colonisers for building the first medical college in Asia in Goa in 1847.

“No doubt the Portuguese committed atrocities, but we should mention that they constructed Goa Medical College in 1847, which was the first in Asia,” Sawant said.

Now, an AYUSH hospital will be inaugurated in Goa under the AYUSH ministry, giving scope to students to learn Ayurveda. The 250-bed hospital will also enable around 500 students to pursue undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD degrees.

However, the government also faced an agitation while providing land for such big educational projects. When land for the IIT project was identified in Shel-Melauli in Sattari taluka of North Goa, the affected people agitated saying it would destroy the environment.

Bowing to the people’s pressure, it was cancelled and now land for the IIT has been identified in Sanguem.

“We will take care that no destruction of the environment takes place here,” Social Welfare Minister and Sanguem MLA Subhash Phal Desai said.

Speaking to IANS, Phal Desai said that it is government land and there are a few encroachments in the area. However, he will speak to the encroachers and will try to rehabilitate them elsewhere.

“We will see that such things do not happen here and this project is not objected to. I will take all into confidence, before going ahead with this project,” Phal Desai said.

While welcoming projects like the NIT and IIT in the coastal state, Phal Desai noted that the government must also ensure that seats are reserved for local students, besides assuring them employment.

ALSO READ-Goa okays investment proposals worth Rs 64 crore

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Goa’s tourism reboot brings in tourists and litter

The research also states that since most of the beach litter results from tourism-related activities, this study will be an eye opener for the government departments for taking necessary, timely initiatives while protecting the tourism industry, which contributes largely to Goa’s economy…reports Asian Lite News

The post-Covid resurgence of tourism in Goa, one of the best-known beach destinations in India, has brought a sigh of relief to the state’s tourism industry stakeholders.

But a recent study conducted by multiple research agencies, has outlined just how the lifting of travel restrictions and resumption of mass tourism has led to copious quantities of garbage being dumped back on to the beaches and the seas alongside, with the increased footprint of locals , as well as tourists on the state’s eight popular beaches, post-lockdown.

“The quantification of litter found on eight selected Goa beaches (Morjim, Calangute, Miramar, Siridao, Baina, Velsao, Colva and Palolem) was undertaken during the beginning of lockdown (May 2020) and unlock (January 2021) periods suggests an increase in the litter quantity during unlock period when the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions on tourism are lifted, facilitating tourist inflow,” the researchers noted.

The study was conducted under the supervision of Goa University’s School of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences by researchers from the Goa-based National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula and Canada’s Ryerson University.

According to the research study titled “Spatio-temporal assessment of Covid-19 lockdown impact on beach litter status and composition in Goa”, India’ littering on beaches increased as much as 1032.60 percent at Palolem beach, a popular location with tourists as well as the local population.

“Per capita litter reduction during the lockdown in comparison to the post-lockdown period was found to be highest for Palolem (1032.60 per cent), Calangute (558.62 per cent), Baina (276.92 per cent), Miramar-Caranzalem (229.03 per cent), Morjim (226.66 per cent), Velsao (137.47 per cent), Colva (135.06 per cent) and Siridao (6.77 per cent),” the study said.

The classification of beach litter has been made under six broad sections which includes nylon ropes and rubber (fishing gear), plastic (polythene bags, sachets, snack boxes, bottles, etc), footwear (other than leather items), glass (liquor bottles, glasses, bulbs), metal (any metal items) and thermocol (single-use packaging products).

“For Velsao beach, the glass litter was highest (4,818 per cent), followed by thermocol (621 per cent) and footwear (85 per cent)… Colva beach exhibited an increase in all the categories of litter ranging from 8 per cent (plastic) to 429 per cent (footwear). Glass litter increased (3,103 per cent) followed by rubber (2,140 per cent) and footwear (213 per cent) for Palolem beach, while metal and thermocol showed a decrease by more than 70 per cent,” the study says, adding that the decrease in thermocol, metal and rubber items could be attributed to the slowdown in the fishing industry during the lockdown and immediately after it.

The research also states that since most of the beach litter results from tourism-related activities, this study will be an eye opener for the government departments for taking necessary, timely initiatives while protecting the tourism industry, which contributes largely to Goa’s economy.

“Covid-19 pandemic-related lockdown is an opportunity to understand the positive effects visualized due to lockdown restrictions. Though it is not practical all the time to close down businesses, local administration, with the help of social activists and NGOs, can attempt to campaign at the village level and introduce temporary lockdowns regularly without hindering industrial and economic growth,” the study states.

“Implementation of such a campaign is possible for the small coastal states like Goa, and subsequently, these can be cited as good examples for the larger states to follow,” it adds.

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AAP cabinet to be sworn in at Bhagat Singh’s ancestral village

Mann said those who did not vote for “us need not have any kind of doubt or fear. I am their chief minister too. I have the same love and empathy towards everyone. We will work make Punjab prosperous again”….reports Asian Lite News

After the historic victory of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab, Bhagwant Mann on Thursday said the oath-taking of the state’s new cabinet would be held in martyr Bhagat Singh’s ancestral village.

Addressing the people outside his house in Sangrur, Mann thanked all the Punjabis, and said: “You have fulfilled your responsibility very well, now it is my turn to fulfil the responsibility.”

“We have good intentions and that is why the people of Punjab have trusted us. Trust me, change will be visible in a month. Now you will not have to go to offices of government employees. Government officers won’t hinder your works by making excuses. Now the public servants will come to your houses and localities to do their job.”

Taking a jibe at the opposition parties, Mann said they abused “us, tried to defame us. But we have forgiven everyone, provided they start respecting the three and a half crore Punjabis now”.

Mann, who won the Dhuri seat with a margin of 58,206 votes, said during the Congress-Akali Dal governments, decisions regarding Punjab used to be taken in Moti Mahal, Siswan farm house and big ‘havelis’.

“Now the government of Punjab will run from villages and mohallas.”

Mann said those who did not vote for “us need not have any kind of doubt or fear. I am their chief minister too. I have the same love and empathy towards everyone. We will work make Punjab prosperous again”.

Mann said he was worried about unemployment. “Unemployed youth are forced to go abroad or struck in the quagmire of drugs. Punjab keeps losing money and talent due to expensive higher education and lack of employment. After assuming the responsibility of Chief Minister, on the very first day itself, I will use my position to eradicate unemployment from Punjab.

“We are committed to provide adequate opportunities and employment in Punjab.”

Mann reiterated that the pictures of the Chief Minister and leaders will not be in the government offices of Punjab. Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh and Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar’s pictures will be displayed in government offices.

“Bhagat Singh fought for our freedom and sacrificed his life and after independence Baba Saheb gave us the right to freedom and equality by writing the constitution of the country. It is our duty to follow their values and fulfil their dreams.”

Mann concluded that he is proud of Punjabis who are keeping alive the revolution of Bhagat Singh.

“As a Punjabi, it is our duty to follow the path of Bhagat Singh and give him respect. Earlier chief ministers of Punjab used to take oath at the Raj Bhavan. I will take oath as Chief Minister at the village of Bhagat Singh, Khatkar Kalan,” he said.

Mann’s mother Harpal Kaur got emotional.

Before Mann, his younger sister Manpreet Kaur and his mother Harpal Kaur addressed the gathering and thanked the people for electing Mann as the Chief Minister.

Addressing the people, Mann’s mother Harpal Kaur hugged Mann and got emotional.

Rising from the ashes like the phoenix, the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP, in a maiden emphatic win, crushed the traditional players that ruled the border state of Punjab for over seven decades with its stunning victory largely by its greenhorns on 92 of the 117 seats of the legislative assembly.

ALSO READ: AAP steps out to Delhi, creates national impact

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GOA: BJP secures 20 seats, set to form govt

Fadnavis said that the party would not poach a single Congress MLA in its bid for power this time round, adding that the swearing-in of the new government would be held in co-ordination with party leaders in three other states…reports Asian Lite News

 Handicapped by anti-incumbency and infighting, a wide split in opposition votes may have paved the way for the BJP to form a government in Goa, with the party winning 20 seats in the February 14 state assembly polls.

According to Bharatiya Janata Party’s Goa election in-charge Devendra Fadnavis, the party had already secured letters of supports from five newly elected MLAs, including three independents and two from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, which would take the ruling party and its associates beyond the crucial 21 mark in the 40-member state legislative assembly.

The Congress and the Goa Forward party which contested the polls in alliance won 11 seats and one seat each respectively, even as the Aam Aadmi Party won two seats, Revolutionary Goans, a debutant regional party won one seat. The Trinamool Congress failed to win a single seat in the polls.

“Three independent candidates have extended support to the BJP. We had said yesterday that even if we win 21 seats, we will take some more people along with us. In keeping with the assurance, these three independents and the MGP have given letters of support to the BJP. They are going to be with us,” Fadnavis told a press conference in Panaji.

The BJP leader also said that the party would not poach a single Congress MLA in its bid for power this time round, adding that the swearing-in of the new government would be held in co-ordination with party leaders in three other states in which the party also won the polls as well as the state leadership, adding that considering the comfortable nature of the mandate in Goa, there was no need to hurry to stake claim to power.

The BJP was facing severe anti-incumbency as well as severe infighting in its ranks in the run-up to the polls, which led to several rebellions. The most high profile rebels were former BJP CM Laxmikant Parsekar and Utpal Parrikar, former Defence Minister late Manohar Parrikar’s son, but both lost as independent candidates from Mandrem and Panaji assembly constituencies respectively.

Congress senior observer for Goa P. Chidambaram said that the split in the opposition ranks had given the BJP advantage in the polls.

“The overwhelming majority voted against the BJP but those votes were split across many parties which gave the BJP the opportunity to win 20 seats,” Chidambaram told reporters. State Congress president Girish Chodankar has offered to resign over the debacle.

Congress MLA and former Ports Minister in the BJP-led coalition government Michael Lobo said that the Congress lost as many as seven seats because of the split in opposition votes.

“Congress lost seven seats because of the split. We did not expect such a split in votes. People of Goa wanted a major change, but they voted for different parties,” Lobo said.

The Trinamool Congress which failed to win a single seat said in a statement: “We accept this mandate with all humility. We commit ourselves to work harder to earn the trust and love of every Goenkar. No matter how long it takes, we will be here and we will continue to serve the people of Goa”.

The Aam Aadmi Party made its debut in the state assembly with two wins namely Venzy Viegas from Benaulim and Cruz Silva from Velim.

ALSO READ: BJP nearing halfway mark in Goa

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BJP nearing halfway mark in Goa

While the Election Commission has not formally declared any winners so far, several contests are witnessing a close battle, with margins in some cases down to two digits….reports Asian Lite News

The BJP claimed victory in the state Assembly polls, with the party which is contesting the elections on its own, leading trends on 19 seats and the Congress-Goa Forward alliance leading in 11 constituencies, according to the Election Commission of India statistics.

“This is a victory of Goan people and a victory for the government, a victory of the Prime Minister,” BJP national general secretary C.T. Ravi told reporters in Panaji.

While the Election Commission has not formally declared any winners so far, several contests are witnessing a close battle, with margins in some cases down to two digits.

When asked if the BJP would be speaking to other parties like the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party for support to reach the magic number of 21, Ravi said that the decision would be taken after the final results are announced.

ALSO READ: BJP, AAP script history in UP, Punjab

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Goa records high voter turnout, moderate response in UP, Uttarakhand

Goa recorded a high voter turnout of 78.94% in the single-phase election. UP and Uttarakhand recorded 62.52% and 59.61% turnout, respectively, reports Asian Lite News

Goa registered a very high voter turnout of 78.94 per cent in polling for the 40 Assembly seats which passed off peacefully with no untoward incident reported from any part of the state which witnessed a multi-cornered contest, officials said.

They said this was preliminary voter turnout and the final figure may cross 80 per cent as electoral fate of 301 candidates were locked in EVMs which will be opened on March 10 for counting. To check the spread of COVID-19, voters were provided hand gloves at polling stations.

Addressing a press conference, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Kunal said the highest voting was registered in the Sankhalim constituency in North Goa at 89.61 per cent, while the lowest voter turnout was 70.20 per cent at Benaulim in South Goa.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant is the BJP candidate from Sankhalim.

The poll officer said the overall voter turnout stood at 78.94 per cent.

“This is a tentative percentage of voting, while the exact data would be available later. The voting percentage may cross 80 per cent after adding votes polled through ballot papers,” CEO Kunal said.

Over 11 lakh people were eligible to cast their votes. They include 9,590 persons with disabilities, 2,997 aged over 80 years, 41 sex workers and nine transgenders.

The Vasco constituency had the highest number of 35,139 voters, while the Mormugao seat had the lowest number of voters at 19,958, he said.

Kunal said, “13,150 postal ballots were issued and a total of 12,546 people voted through postal ballots.” He said polling was held at 1,722 booths, of which 105 were manned by only women personnel (also called ‘pink booths’) and eight by differently-abled persons.

The CEO said 80 candidates had criminal antecedents, which were published in the media before the voting as per a Supreme Court mandate.

A senior police official said the election was conducted in a peaceful manner and no serious complaint of any malpractice was received.

He said three FIRs related to different incidents were registered during the day.

In one of the incidents, the car of a person, who is related to a political leader, was set on fire at Bicholim, while at Sanvordem a person was found with cash, the police official said.

He said the total cash seizure was Rs6.06 crore during the period of code of conduct which came into force in early January.

Besides, liquor worth Rs3.57 crore was also seized during the period, the official added.

Over 62% polling in Uttarakhand

Over 62% polling was recorded in Uttarakhand where voting to 70 assembly seats spread over 13 districts concluded peacefully on Monday, officials said. The polling percentage in the 2017 assembly elections in the state was 65.56%.

“Polling was held peacefully at the 11,697 polling booths across the state with 62.5% of the electorate casting their votes till the close of polls,” Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Saujanya said at a press conference.

Polling came to an end at 6 pm.

Ninety-eight voter verifiable paper audit trails, 30 Central Units and 31 Balloting Units had to be replaced during polling while a total of 203 FIRs were lodged for Model Code of Conduct violations on Monday, she said.

Polled electronic voting machines will be kept in strongrooms after scrutiny by general observers and under CCTV camera surveillance till the day of counting on March 10, the CEO said.

Counting will be carried out under a three-tier security cordon, she said.

Seizures made up to the polling day were worth Rs18.80 crore which is three times more than the seizures worth Rs6.85 crore made in the 2017 assembly polls, Ms Saujanya said.

Long queues of voters were seen outside booths as polling began at 8 am amid strict adherence to Covid protocols, and among them were also centenarians, who despite their age exercised their franchise.

People were allowed to cast their votes only after wearing gloves.

Giving out district-wise polling data till 5 pm, officials said Haridwar district saw the highest voter turnout at 67.58 per cent followed by Uttarkashi with 65.55 per cent, Udham Singh Nagar 65.13, Nainital 63.12, Rudraprayag 60.36 per cent, Chamoli 59 per cent, Bageshwar 57.83 per cent, Champawat 56.97 per cent, Dehradun 52.93 per cent, Tehri 52.66 per cent, Pauri Garhwal 51.93 per cent, Almora 50.65 per cent and Pithoragarh 57.19 per cent.

There were also reports from Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag and Pithoragarh districts where around 10 villages boycotted the polls due to non-construction of roads.

In the day, CEO Saujanya inspected the model polling booths in Nehru Colony and Hathi Barkala in Dehradun to see if Covid protocols were being followed by voters and officials.

On faulty EVMs at certain polling stations, she had said they were immediately replaced.

61% turnout in 2nd phase of UP polls

Over 2 crore voters decided the electoral fate of 586 candidates in the fray today in the second phase of the election to 55 assembly seats in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh.

Of the estimated 2.02 crore eligible voters, there are 1.08 crore male, 94 lakh female, and 1,269 third gender voters.

In the second phase, 23,404 polling places and 12,544 polling stations were set up. Voting has ended in UP across 9 districts.

Voting started at 7 am and continued till 6 pm across 55 Assembly constituencies of Amroha, Budaun, Bareilly, Bijnor, Moradabad, Rampur, Saharanpur, Sambhal and Shahjahanpur in the western part of the politically crucial state.

Earlier in 2017, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had won 38 of the 55 constituencies, Samajwadi Party had bagged 13 and the Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had got two seats each.

ALSO READ: UP records around 60% turnout in Phase 1 polls

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Shah blames Nehru for delay in Goa’s liberation

Shah further said that the people of Goa had sampled BJP and Congress rules and knew what the two administrations represented….reports Asian Lite News

Lack of decisive leadership by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had led to the delay in the liberation of Goa from the colonial Portuguese regime, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Wednesday.

Shah, who was addressing an election rally in the Bicholim assembly constituency in North Goa, also said that voters in Goa had two clear choices ahead of the February 14 elections — either vote for a Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party or cast ballot in favour of dynasty-ridden party like the Congress.

“Goa got independence after a lot of sacrifice and struggle. It took a lot of time for Goa to be independent. Yesterday, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while speaking in Parliament, raised this issue. Who is responsible for the delay in Goa’s independence?” Shah said at the rally in Bicholim where outgoing Speaker of the state legislative assembly Rajesh Patnekar is contesting the polls on the ruling BJP’s ticket.

“History is witness that if Jawaharlal Nehru’s leadership was decisive, then right after India got independence on August 15, 1947, Goa should have been liberated soon after,” the Union Home Minister said. Goa was eventually liberated from Portuguese yoke in 1961.

Shah further said that the people of Goa had sampled BJP and Congress rules and knew what the two administrations represented.

“The people of Goa have witnessed both governments. The Congress rule was marked by instability and anarchy. BJP’s government was about stability and development. This time all BJP workers are working for a hat trick in Goa,” the Union Home Minister said.

“People of Goa have to decide whether they want a BJP government or a government led by a dynastic party where there is no democracy,” he added.

Shah also said that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India’s borders had been secured as never before.

“There were attacks at Uri and Pulwama, our soldiers were burnt to death. In 10 days, the country’s Prime Minister responded by ordering surgical and airstrikes on Pakistan soil and killed the terrorists. Modi has made India safer and sent a message to the world, that you cannot dare to threaten India’s borders or Indian soldiers or you will be penalised,” Shah said.

ALSO READ: India took a leadership role during pandemic: Modi

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Goa AAP candidates sign affidavits; pledge against defection

Two of the three MLAs from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party also switched to the BJP during that period…reports Asian Lite News

Weeks after Congress party candidates took a public oath in front of religious deities against defecting to other political parties after elections, candidates of the AAP in Goa on Wednesday signed affidavits against switching political parties after the February 14 polls.

At a press conference in Panaji, Aam Aadmi Party national convenor Arvind Kejriwal also said that the issue of defections had reached “world record” proportions in Goa, calling for the strengthening of anti-defection laws in the country.

“Goa’s politics is such that it has a history of defections. I think it must be a world record that 15 of the 17 elected MLAs of one party switch sides to another. This pledge is a legal document and if any of our candidates go against their pledge they can be prosecuted for breach of trust and swearing a false oath,” Kejriwal told a press conference in Panaji, during which the party’s 39 candidates posed with their signed affidavits.

Kejriwal was referring to the exodus of Congress party MLAs to the BJP between 2017 and 2022. Two of the three MLAs from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party also switched to the BJP during that period.

“We have chosen all good candidates, when choosing we have chosen based on who is clean and honest. We have chosen them well, yet we have felt the need for this affidavit because not only should you be honest, but you should also be seen to be honest. People have to be reassured (that) If I work dishonestly or change my party you can file a case against me,” the Delhi Chief Minister also said.

“Anti-defection laws need to be strengthened in India. Especially in the case of Goa. If an MLA wants to defect for reasons of ‘defection’ then they need to go back to the people. This is a confidence building measure that we are giving you in writing that we will not change. Today we are the only party that is bringing a statement of oath before the people,” Kejriwal said.

ALSO READ-5 Cong MPs skip Rahul’s poll campaign launch in Punjab