The Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar has stressed on the importance of preserving the social fabric of the state for, Goa is a state which was liberated from the foreign rule and later through the historic opinion poll it merger into Maharashtra was prevented.
Mr Parrikar was speaking as the chief guest at the Opinion Poll Day celebrations held Wednesday morning at Calangute. It may be recalled that in 2007 on the occasion of 40 years of the Opinion Poll, the then Calangute sarpanch, Mr Joseph Sequeira played a vital role in installing the statue of Jack Sequeira at Calangute on the grounds that the father of Opinion Poll had not yet been given his due and the late Jack Sequeira who kept Goa separate deserved to occupy a very important position in Goa.
Further speaking at the function that was held after garlanding the statue of Jack Sequeira on Wednesday, Mr Parrikar said that the father of Opinion Poll, Jack Sequeira toiled hard in 1967 to prevent merger of Goa into Maharashtra and due to this today we enjoy statehood.
However Mr Parrikar said that this was not all but today it was the duty of each and every Goan to work for preservation of the social fabric of Goa so that we hand over the same Goa to our future generation as the one which we inherited from our ancestors.
Making it clear that he is opposed to conversion of agricultural land, Mr Parrikar said that even the regional plan will be finalised taking this factor into consideration. He also urged people not to sell their land to outsiders for lure of money as this was also a major factor that could endanger the existence of Goa.
"In the past, various religions co-existed peacefully in Goa and we should maintain the same tempo even now. For many, development means construction and projects but in actual practice it is our mindset that should change. We should develop a positive mindset and also realise that our task at hand is to always strive for the betterment of our state. Selling of land to outsiders should also be discouraged as land is becoming scarce," he informed.
Former Calangute MLA, Mr Tomazinho Cardozo, speaking on the occasion, highlighted the historic opinion poll and said that it was the farsightedness of Jack Sequeira due to which he felt that if Goan identity had to be preserved it could be done by preventing it from merging into Maharashtra.
The Calangute MLA, Mr Michael Lobo said that today we owe our freedom and statehood to Jack Sequeira for if he had not to take this initiative then Goa would not have been what it is today. The former Saligao MLA, Dr Wilfred D’Souza also spoke. Also present was Fr Conceicao D’Silva, parish priest of Calangute church, Fr Cypriano D’Silva, Calangute panchayat member, Mr Joseph Sequeira, daughter of Jack Sequeira, Dr Lily Sequeira and Calangute panchayat members. [NT]