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from daijiworld's special correspondent

Panaji, Jul 15: The language controversy haunts Goa government with two of the political forces trying to have their way through the "Official Language Act".

While former congressman-led Save Goa Front has stated that they would table a bill asking for inclusion of Roman script to the existing Konkani language, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, a Congress ally, has said that they would table similar bill supporting ``Marathi as an official language of Goa in addition to existing Konkani.

Goa, with 14 lac population, became a state on May 30, 1987 while Konkani (written in Devnagri script) was accorded official language status by state legislative assembly on February 4, 1987.

"Majority of the people write Konkani in Roman script. We had contested our state polls on this issue and it was our promise that we are fulfilling now," SGF president Churchill Alemao said reacting about their demand. The SGF has two legislators in the state legislative assembly and have extended their support to the ruling Congress-led government.

Former Lok Sabha member of parliament, Alemao had resigned from the Congress protesting against Congress' indecisive attitude towards certain issues including Roman script. "We will table the bill.... We are positive to garner majority support for it," the SGF president said.

The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, Congress ally in the state government with two legislators, has also put its foot down on the issue, pressing for the demand of Marathi as an official language in addition to Konkani.

"We differ in ideologies with SGF. Marathi has always been our stand. We will table the bill this time," MGP president Pandurang Raut said.

The MGP, too, has expressed confidence to get majority support on the floor of the house to pass the bill.


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