BJP, MGP, GVP in the Govt clash over Portuguese citizenship issue

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 08 June 2016 13:52 IST

The alliance partners of the ruling BJP-led government are divided over the issue of dual citizenship and Goans embracing Portuguese citizenship.

While the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party wants the Portuguese Consulate to be shifted from Goa, the Goa Vikas Party has blamed the BJP-led government for an exodus of Goans.

The ruling alliance has 21 from the BJP,  3 from the MGP and 2 MLAs from the GVP.

While requesting the centre to study the issue, defence minister Manohar Parrikar, during his tenure as the Goa chief minister, had stated that 4 lakh Goans have registered their birth in Portugal.

While registration of birth in the Central Registry in Lisboa gives them Bill of Identity, the identity card states that you are a Portuguese citizen.

Goa’s population is around 15 lakhs, out of which it is presumed that the migrants are around 5 lakhs.

In addition, around 4 lakh Goans have ‘legally’ lost Indian citizenship, reducing the population of ‘original’ Goans to only 6 lakhs.

Goa had a population of 7 lakh when it was liberated in Goa from the clutches of Portuguese colonialists in 1961, 55 years ago.

“I fear no Goan would remain in Goa if this trend continues”, says Sudin Dhawalikar, leader of the MGP and the PWD minister.

    

According to him, the exodus has resulted into Goans losing their Indian citizenship as well as voting rights.

GVP MLA Caitu Silva, who is fighting a court case over his alleged Portuguese citizenship, however blames the state government for the state of affairs.

“This situation would have not arisen if the state government had provided jobs to our unemployed youth in an evenly manner. But unfortunately jobs are either sold or given by the ministers only to their constituents”, he alleges.

Interestingly, none of these ‘Portuguese Goans’ live in Portugal but proceed to UK and other European countries to take up jobs since Portuguese passport-holder doesn’t require Visa.

He thus suggests looking at this issue in a practical manner since these so called Portuguese citizens don’t settle abroad but invest their earnings back in India, helping Goan economy.

Calangute MLA Michael Lobo, belonging to the ruling BJP, urges the government to come out with a legislation that would continue allowing Goans to go abroad for better prospects without losing their Goan identity and Indian citizenship.

After studying the whole issue by a ministerial committee appointed by the Narendra Modi government, the report has stated that India cannot allot dual citizenship to any Indian, including a Goan taking up Portuguese citizenship to take up jobs in UK.

The committee has thus suggested to set up an Authority in Goa, which would give a chance to the ‘Portuguese Goans’ to withdraw their foreign nationality and continue as Indian citizens.

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Previous Comments

Goa govt must keep % for jobs incasd of goans... i.e.

Mostly technical students are going out of the country for jobs after having gud MNC's companies in goa. So inorder to stop dis govt myst provide them 70% vacancies for goans......

Now a days it is going in opposite way i.e. 30% goans r wrkng in industry and 70% outsyder r preffered most.

- Mandar Tari, Canacona | 10 th June 2016 10:13

 

My suggestion is that Mr. Sudin Dhawalikar proposes a system for Goans to go to UK without visa, nobody will ask for dual citizenship or opt for Portuguese passport.

- John W DSouza, Margoa Goa | 09 th June 2016 01:17

 

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