Jt cadre with Maharashtra raises row

| 09 January 2001 22:47 IST

The proposal of BJP chief minister Manohar Parrikar to have a joint IAS cadre with the neighbouring Maharashtra, in order to terminate the centrally controlled cadre system, has received stiff opposition locally, from outside the ruling party as well as from the within.

While supporting Parrikar's contention partially, the opposition Congress however strongly feels that the tiny state of Goa should have its own cadre for the IAS, IPS and IFS officers.

The union home ministry however is sitting on both the proposals - of the independent state cadre mooted by the then Congress government in 1999 and the recent one of a joint cadre submitted by their own BJP colleagues.

"The union home ministry is still not prepared to digest this new concept", states Parrikar, who has now softened his earlier stand after some of his ministerial colleagues (former Congressmen) opposed it at the recently held cabinet meeting.

Recalling the historic opinion poll held in 1967 against Goa's merger with Maharashtra on the basis that Marathi - and not Konkani - is mother tongue of Goans, state opposition leader Luizinho Faleiro has even threatened to come on the streets against any attempt to dilute the cause of its independent identity.

Fearing that this move would provide one more opportunity for Maharashtra to have direct control over Goan bureaucracy, he feels the gains of opinion poll (1967) and the statehood (1987) would be lost with this one single move.

"I do not mind having a joint cadre with Karnataka if they have aversion to Maharashtra", says Parrikar. Personally, however, he feels that Maharashtrian bureaucrats would be able to understand the local sentiments much better as it is easy for Marathi person to learn Konkani.

All Goan politicians however are unanimous about detaching itself from the AGMU cadre (consisting of Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and union territories) as the bureaucrats sent down here on 'punishment posting' never bother about Goa's development but utilise state treasury for frequent Delhi or North Eastern trips at home.

Stating that AGMU cadre was only a transitional arrangement made in 1987, senior Congress leader Shantaram Naik says the best solution is to have its own independent cadre, which is a right of every state to have its own infrastructural arrangement.

Pointing out that the minimum number for IAS officers fixed is 42 in Sikkim, Parrikar rules out the proposal as Goa does not need more than 14 IAS officers. "You also cannot control or transfer them if they do not listen to you", he says.

With his own cabinet colleagues opposing the idea of a joint cadre with Maharashtra, he has however now agreed to have a public debate over the issue. "But having our own cadre is more risky than the existing AGMU cadre", insists Parrikar.

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