Khalap's Satyagraha at Assembly as CM denies grants to his college

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 11 January 2016 20:40 IST

He was a lion roaring in the Goa Assembly at one time, consistently for three long decades. Today, he was pushed away from the new Assembly complex, saying he has no valid pass to enter the complex.

Ramakant Khalap, the six-time MLA and known for his fiery speeches as the opposition leader, had to face the humiliation while staging Satyagraha (Fighting for Truth) at the Ashok Stambh in front of the Assembly complex.

He is fighting a battle against Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, who defeated him in 2002 Assembly election.

But the battle is not political, however, purely educational. Parsekar has denied rightful grants-in-aid to Khalap’s college, whose first batch of Commerce passed out with 100% result.

The reason?

Parsekar, as the chairman of Harmal Panchakroshi Education Society, started a similar college in the close vicinity of his college in Mandrem a year later.

The CM got approval for the college while Goa University had already granted affiliation to Khalap’s college and then chief minister Manohar Parrikar had granted approval to it in 2012.

Since then, Khalap is running the college with private donations and running from pillar to post to get his rightful grants-in-aid, which educationist-turned-politician Parsekar has denied him.

While he stood all alone at the Ashok Stambh, the police pushed him to the Press Room, where Khalap continued his Satyagraha and presented memorandums to all the 40 MLAs.

He expects at least some MLAs, including his Congress party colleagues, to raise the issue in the five-day winter Assembly session, which began today.

Khalap plans to continue his Satyagraha for couple of days more to highlight the injustice meted out to him.

If all his attempts fail, he then also plans to approach the court of law.

 

BACKGROUND

Mandrem Vikas Parishad, headed by Khalap, was granted approval to start Commerce faculty in 2012 by then chief minister Manohar Parrikar, with an assurance to give approval for Arts faculty the succeeding year.

The Parishad, which is running several institutes from pre-primary to higher secondary schools for the last 36 years, was also denied permission to start additional faculties of Arts, BA BEd and BBA with grants.

Contrary to this, states Khalap, Parsekar’s Harmal Panchakroshi was permitted to start Arts and Commerce faculties in 2013 while BSc-BEd was permitted this year.

The former union law minister’s Parishad was denied approval for the arts faculty on the grounds that it is located hardly seven kilometres away from the Government College situated at Virnoda.

“In reality, the distance between these two colleges is 23 kms and Mapusa colleges are closer to Mandrem area than the Virnoda College. In fact Parsekar’s college is hardly five kms away from our college”, alleges Khalap.  

He also asks how three more colleges were allowed by the same BJP government hardly five to eight kms away from the existing colleges.

These are, he says, Vidya Prabodhini College running Arts, Science, Commerce as well as BA-BEd which is five to six kms from Panaji and Mapusa,  Vivekanand College at Bori which is six kms from Margao and Ponda and BJP MLA Ganesh Gaokar’s Multi-faculty College of Arts, Commerce, BBA etc at Dharbandora, which is seven kms from Ponda.

Khalap also said he was denied permission on the grounds that he had less the 100 students while today 111 students are studying in his college.

According to Khalap, who was also Goa’s deputy chief minister at one time, students coming to his college belong to economically backward communities and weaker sections like women, OBCs and Scheduled Castes.

“My only submission is that the Chief Minister of the State is expected to rise above his personal and family interests and extend his patronage in a just and equitable manner”, states Khalap.

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