Cong stages 'divided' walkout

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 29 April 2013 18:04 IST

The opposition today staged a walkout, but displaying publicly that the Congress is still a divided House.

The issue was passing of almost five government bills, one by one.

Instead of putting forward their views on each bill, the opposition preferred to stage a walk out, stating that all the bills are anti-people.

All the bills were related to the Budget announcements.

When the first bill regarding the green cess came up for passing clause by clause, Congress MLA Aleixo Reginald Lourenco stood up and started speaking against all the bills.

When speaker Rajendra Arlekar told him to specifically speak about the Green Cess bill, he said: “All the bills will affect the common man, thus we are not interested in discussing it.”

However, when he appealed to his party members to accompany him, only Jennifer Monseratte walked out with him, besides independent MLA Vijay Sardesai.

The speaker then took up the Goa Buildings (Lease, Rent and Eviction) Control (Amendment) Bill, 2013 when opposition leader Pratapsing Rane stood up.

As this bill provides right to the senior citizens, handicapped and widows to take charge of their rented house, Rane termed it anti-people and walked out with rest of his party members.

It included Babush Monseratte, Mauvin Godinho, Pandurang Madkaikar, Vishwajeet Rane and Babu Kavalekar.

Former Congress chief minister Digambar Kamat was not present in the House.

As such, all the bills were passed unanimously as the speaker could not take up the amendments moved by the opposition.

Later, Lourenco along with independent MLA Vijay Sardesai, told media persons that the Goa Land Revenue amendment bill would hike land prices by Rs 6000 per sq mts, making it impossible for common Goan to buy land for housing.

“It means a flat of 100 sq mts would now cost Rs six lakh more”, said Sardesai.

Lourenco said they may take the issue now with the Governor.

Interestingly, the Congress did not feel important to discuss the bill in the House, in order to try and get the fees reduced.

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