Mumbai, Omprakash Tiwari. Elections to the Goa Legislative Assembly are to be held on February 14, ie Valentine’s Day. But even before that, all the ticket contenders and MLAs in Goa are seen switching sides in new parties. So far ten MLAs and ministers have changed parties in Goa. The biggest setback has come to the Bharatiya Janata Party, where one minister and two MLAs went to the Congress together.

Minister Michael Lobo, who is considered to be the rural and Christian face of the BJP, left the party saying that there was no more space, so MLAs like Prasad Gaonkar and Praveen Jhantey have also done Ram-Ram to the BJP. Now BJP is again trying to break people from Congress and other parties to save itself. She has also lost four MLAs from other parties so far. It has become so clear from this manipulative game that this time also no one is going to get majority and this sabotage will intensify after the elections. Actually, the tradition of switching sides before and after elections in Goa is very old. That’s why a Chief Minister can hardly complete his term here.

This time the election is more challenging for the BJP, because one, it no longer has a face like former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, secondly, the current Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s stature has not been so big that he can cross the BJP’s boat on his own. Go. On the other hand, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress and Aam Aadmi Party are also creating an atmosphere by including some leader every day. This is the first time in Goa that altogether seven parties are in the fray. In such a situation, everyone can become a candidate from one or the other party. But the loss of all this is that the issues like Goa’s election issue and commitment to the people of Goa have now gone into the background. Whereas the people of the state, who are tired of the instability of the past, need a stable and working government.

Due to the panic of Omicron, even 40 percent of the tourists have not reached Goa this time. From the colorful shacks and casinos to the clubs on the shore, everything is deserted. This time there will be no Goa’s famous sunburn and neither will the Goa Carnival be glamourous. Goa is that state of the country, which became a part of the Republic of India after 14 years of independence. The rule of Portugal ended here with the Goa Liberation Movement in the year 1961. After the invasion of Alfonso de Albuquerque in March 1510, the Portuguese began to rule here. Maratha rulers attacked several times. But could not win. Portuguese rule continued due to agreement with the British government.

Finally, on 19 December 1961, with the help of the Government of India, Goa was liberated with ‘Operation Vijay’ and could become a part of Bharatvarsha. The state, with only a 40-member assembly, has been a victim of political instability except in the initial years. It has been normal for every party to break up here. Now again the elections are due in February and this time the battle has become interesting as two new political parties – Aam Aadmi Party and Trinamool Congress – are in the fray. In the last election, Bharatiya Janata Party did not get majority and Congress was close to majority with 17 MLAs. But the government was formed by Manohar Pikar of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress kept watching due to the inaction of its central leadership. Later 11 more Congress MLAs also broke away and went to BJP.

In the midst of all this, Goa and its people are facing many problems. For the last two years, due to the Kovid epidemic, the tourism industry, which provides the most employment to the people here, has come to a standstill, on the other hand, due to the closure of mining, the biggest economic activity for three years, the government’s vault is also empty and development work has come to a standstill. . In such a situation, the issue of resuming employment and mining is the biggest.

In fact, mining in Goa is a complicated issue. In the year 2012, Manohar Ripikar made it an issue for the elections and then banned mining. Later mining started for some time. But then it got banned in 2018. Since then there has been an issue of restarting these mines. Mining in Goa started in the fourth decade of the last century before independence on leases granted by the then Portuguese government. Later on after independence they were regularized. Goa’s mine owners say that they should be given a second lease extension under the law like the rest of the country. The matter is now pending in the Supreme Court. The people of Goa want that the issue of lease extension of these mines should be resolved by bringing a related bill in the Parliament, so that people can get employment immediately.

In fact, mining revenues accounted for about 20 per cent of Goa’s GDP, along with about 35 per cent of the per tonne sale of iron ore in the form of revenue. Along with this, it is necessary for all the companies to give money to the Goa Mineral Fund, so that facilities can be developed in the villages. But the closure of mining has had a major impact on Goa’s economy. This is the reason that along with political stability, the issue of mining will also play an important role in this election.

[मुंबई ब्यूरो प्रमुख]

Edited By: Sanjay Pokhriyal