Sadly on the last of the session, when everyone expected a bigger show from the Opposition and thought the Assembly would break the previous day record and go on up to 6 am the following day, the Opposition gave up the real advantage. It won’t be wrong to say the Opposition left Government off the Hook or forfeited the advantage.
It was one of the most gruelling Assembly witnessed in the last five years though only three days.
The Opposition benches, spear-headed by Porvorim MLA Rohan Khaunte, a nemesis for Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant, held the Government by its collar for two and half days.
For the first time in decades, the Goa Legislative Assembly went on up to 4.30 am.
However, that can be attributed to the elections just around the corner, and every MLA wanted to make a point, be it the Opposition or the ruling.
More importantly, the Opposition showed some character with Rohan Khaunte and Vijai Sardesai taking the Government to task on many issues like Mhadei, mining, employment, crime etc.
Sadly on the last of the session, when everyone expected a bigger show from the Opposition and thought the Assembly would break the previous day record and go on up to 6 am the following day, the Opposition gave up the real advantage.
It won’t be wrong to say the Opposition left Government off the Hook or forfeited the advantage.
However, another theory is that the Opposition walkout was due to the passing of the Bhumiputra Adhikarini Bill.
Staying in the House could have helped the Government further on the Bill submitted.
The Bill will legalise houses of those staying in Goa for over 30 years, which means the migrants will benefit immensely.
The Opposition MLAs too have the migrant vote banks, and they did not want to be in bad books opposing the Bill ahead of elections. Hence, instead of being in the House and making noise and running to the well when this Bill was being passed, they decided not to be a part of the House when this Bill was being passed.
Remaining in the House and not opposing it would mean they were party to Bill and would be criticised by civil society and local Goan, and opposing it would mean losing migrant Vote Bank. So the best way is defence and not offence. Even after the Assembly, not a single Opposition leader, who are social media savvy, have made any comments on the Bill.
While this was one part of it, one has to agree that the Opposition was in an unrelenting mood for the first two days.
While Rohan, with his crisp study on IT, Employment amongst several other issues, Vijai was always the crusader on law and order, Mhadei and other illegalities in Govt functioning. MGP MLA SUdin Dhavalikar was also seen in a different avatar altogether. He seemed to be a man on the mission to prove something.
Yes, the Opposition leader Digambar Kamat was seen in an attacking mood, but that was in bits and pieces. Curtorim MLA Alexio Reginald Lourenco too played his part.
Analysing the government side, one has to agree that Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant did the bulk of the talking. He seems to have improved with experience. But some statements like Benaulim rape could have been avoided.
Once again, it was proved that apart from CM, Panchayat Minister Mauvin Godinho and Power Minister Nilesh Cabral – other ministers lack knowledge of their portfolios. This is why the chief minister had to do the bulk of the talking against the marauding Opposition.
Overall, it was three days of complete entertainment for the people watching the on TV in Goa and abroad as the session went on live till 4.30 am, which suits the Goans staying abroad.