Opposition unites in Goa as Govt curtails winter session of assembly to 4 days

All 7 opposition MLAs, including Cong, AAP, Goa Forward, and Revolutionary Goans join hands

Via Twitter
Via Twitter

Aditya Anand

The Opposition in Goa led by the Congress is set to work on a joint floor management strategy to take on the state government during the upcoming winter session of the legislative assembly. A four-day session of the Goa Legislative Assembly has been scheduled to be held from January 16, 2023.

Congress’ Leader of Opposition in the Goa Legislative Assembly, Yuri Alemao said that all the several opposition MLAs will meet after Christmas, on Monday, December 26 to discuss strategy. “This has become essential due to the attempts of the ruling BJP government to suppress the voice of the opposition and transform the proceedings into silent mode. We are all together and remain united,” Alemao said.

The Congress has 3 MLAs, followed by 2 from the Aam Aadmi Party and one each of Goa Forward and Revolutionary Goans. The BJP currently has 33 MLAs in a house of 40 in Goa.  

Previously, the LOP had written to the Speaker of the Goa Assembly, requesting an urgent meeting of the Business Advisory Committee. Namrata Ulman, secretary of the Goa Legislative Assembly, issued an order last week informing members that the Governor has summoned the session on January 16 at 11.30 a.m. It will end on January 19. Ironically, January 16 is also the anniversary of the Opinion Poll, a referendum held in 1961 to decide Goa’s future.   

According to Alemao, the MLAs would not have a "private members day." "The year 2023 begins on Monday and ends on Thursday. The 3rd Session of the 8th Goa Legislative Assembly is a four-day session with three effective days given for House business as the first day is reserved for the Governor's Address. Because there is no work on Friday, there is no Private Member’s Business. "There will be no Private Members Bills or Resolutions," he said.

Meanwhile, ahead of the four-day winter session, the Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly has restricted MLAs from obtaining information exclusively from the last five years via Legislative Assembly Questions. While opposition parties have slammed the action, legal experts have called it unprecedented. Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar gave instructions under Rule 307 of the Goa legislative assembly's norms of procedure and conduct of business. "It shall not generally ask information on subjects of prior history," reads Rule 37 (21). Tawadkar said that " the previous history" will be limited to five years.

Reacting to this Goa Forward Party chief and Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai said, “Why convene the session at all? Directed by a cowardly government, the speaker has bent backward to please him by inventing novel ways to stop questions like the one on the mining ban from being asked in the House. This is another knife struck in the back of democracy,” he said. 

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