‘Maad Yatra’ appeals to topple, calling it ‘Bonddo’ Govt

NIVRUTTI SHIRODKAR, PEDNE | 21 February 2016 18:48 IST

‘Maad Yatra’ – the Coconut March – that began from Pedne, the northern border of Goa, established beyond doubt that it is aimed at ‘Paddo’ (felling coconuts) of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliance in the next Assembly election.

`More than the issue of saving coconut tree, the public rally held at the Pedne town was focussed on appealing to the people to defeat the BJP and its allies.

In fact the ‘Garanne’ by Goa Forward leader Prashant Naik at Bhagwati temple prayed to the Goddess to punish the anti-coconut ruling politicians by sending them home in the forthcoming Assembly election.

Former Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party MLA Parashuram Kotkar was the lone voice to publicly suggest the organisers not to target individual leaders and politicise the all-party protest march against the ‘coconut’ issue.

The Coconut March appears to be tying a ‘Pendd’ of all the anti-BJP forces together as today’s Yatra witnessed two independent MLAs – Vijai Sardesai and Rohan Khanute – as well as two former MLAs – Babu Azgaonkar of the Congress as well as MGP’s Kotkar.

Goa Forward, the newly formed party at the initiative of Sardesai, as well as Pedne Swabhimani Sanghatana (PSS) were also on the forefront besides some ZPs etc.

In fact Devendra Prabhudesai of PSS made an open appeal to the large number of people gathered at the Bhagwati temple to unitedly send Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar (Mandrem MLA) home.

“आमी सगळ्यांनी मेळून मुख्यमंत्री पार्सेकाराच्या हातांत नाल्ल दवरून ताका घरा धाडपाचो वेळ आयला”, he said.

MLA Sardesai also said time has come to make Forest Minister Rajendra Arlekar (Pedne MLA) sit at home, the then Speaker who was consistently suppressing the voice of opposition in the Assembly by telling them – तूं बस (sit down).

He also alleged that the ministers and MLAs in the ‘Government of Bondde’ have opened shops of Casinos, Regional Plan and Industries to sell out Goa.

He asked on what grounds CM Parsekar is supporting the Terekhol golf course when he was vehemently opposing the Japanese golf course mooted by then Congress MLA Jitendra Deshprabhu.

Sardesai also warned the ruling party not to create North-South divide and create confusion in the minds of the people while vowing that the Coconut March would unite all the Goans under one common banner.

Porvorim MLA Rohan Khaunte asked the motive behind the BJP government imposing anti-people bills like Mundkar bill and Coconut bill, which people never asked for.

“Where are those people wearing black T Shirts and shouting against the Medium of Instruction hiding today and why”, he asked.

Former MLA Azgaonkar, whose Congress workers were seen prominently with party caps, asked why the assurances of giving compensation to the people of Mopa airport and 500 jobs every year to the Pedne youth are not fulfilled till date.

GF president Timble assured to the people of Pedne that getting compensation to the people who lost their land for Mopa airport would be the priority of his party, once comes to power.

Also spoke were Prashant Naik, Durgadas Kamat, Pandurang Parab and Rajmohan Shetye.

The Yatra began from Don Khambe at Dhargal and culminated by paying homage to the martyrs at the Martyrs’ Memorial at Patradevi after the public rally. 

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