UCC applicable in Goa only as it didn’t merge with Maharashtra: Vijai Sardesai

Panaji, Jan 16 (IANS): Stating that Uniform Civil Code is applicable in Goa only because the coastal state didn’t merge with Maharashtra, Goa Forward Party (GFP) on Tuesday demanded that the ‘day’ (January 16 -- Opinion Poll Day) should be recognised, at state level here.

GFP President and MLA Vijai Sardesai was speaking during ‘Opinion Poll Day’ programme in South Goa.

“If Goa was merged, then Uniform Civil Code would have not been applicable here. It would have been a small region of Maharashtra. UCC is now on the agenda of BJP government at Centre, they give the example of Goa showing its importance. There is no other state where UCC is functioning. Hence, this double-engine government should recognise ‘Opinion Poll Day’ and give state level importance to it,” Sardesai, former deputy Chief Minister of Goa, said.

He said that UCC is applicable in Goa only because Goans voted against merger in 1967.

“There are enough reasons for the double-engine government to officially recognise January 16, as Goa Opinion Poll Day. I will move resolution in the upcoming session of Goa Legislative Assembly for the same and will try that this day, having a lot of importance, is celebrated at an official level,” he said.

“Goa has a unique identity as Portuguese ruled the state for 450 years. As Goans, we have our own history. We got liberation much later after India got Independence. Hindu, Christian and Muslim stay together here and we never witness communal riots. This uniqueness is because of our history. To protect this identity, our people voted against the merger. We had a comprehensive victory that prevented our state merging in Maharashtra,” he said.

Sardesai praised the stalwarts who contributed to protect the identity of Goa. “We have an independent identity because of this fight. It’s the only referendum of India,” he said.

“After getting liberated in 1961, then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru told the state leadership that for next 10 years Goa will remain as Union Territory. But Maharashtrwadi Gomantak Party was so keen to hastily merge Goa into Maharashtra. Hence they started the process in 1963, but still we got victory. Though it has importance, this government doesn’t want to recognise the day,” Sardesai said, adding the party which wanted to merge Goa is now running the government along (by supporting BJP) with BJP.



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Title: UCC applicable in Goa only as it didn’t merge with Maharashtra: Vijai Sardesai

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