GOA (2-Feb-2017): At the Goenche Mogi Citizens Meeting in Panaji on Republic Day, fifty five organisations and civil society groups from across Goa came together to voice their priorities and issues for the Assembly Elections on 4thFebruary. Their issues were heard, discussed, and compiled into a Citizens’ Manifesto, that is intended to guide voters and to pressure candidates standing for election to make their stance clear. For the past weeks, political parties have been coming out with their manifestoes, many of which ignore the issues that voters in Goa most care about.
The major issues included in the Citizens’ Manifesto are Casinos; Tribal rights under the Forest Rights Act; Liquor and beer factory at Amdai, Sanguem; Coconut tree re-identification; Sexual exploitation; Women's rights; DefExpo at Betul; Competent Hotel at Cansaulim; Airport at Mopa; Dredging by Mormugao Port Trust; Regional Plan 2021; Outline Development Plans of Margao, Panaji, Mapusa and Calangute/Baga; Amendments to Agricultural Tenancy Act; Monsoon ban on fishing; Justice for Fr. Bismark; Mining Bypass at Sanvordem; Investment Promotion Board; Leading Hotels Golf Course Resort at Tiracol; Goenchi Mati Movement's proposal for fair mining; Save the Western Ghats; Peace and harmony between Goa's religious communities; Shipyards at Chicalim; Empowering disabled people in Goa.
The candidates that have responded to the Citizens’ Manifesto are Independent candidate Judith Almeida for Benaulim, AAP candidates Santosh Pai Raitukar for Margao and Elvis Gomes for Cuncolim, and NCP candidate Dominic Fernandes for Panjim. Note that candidates have not responded “Yes” to every item. Their responses are available for viewing online in the Goenchi Mati Movement’s online tracker at goenchimati.org/goa-citizen
Further, voters are encouraged to watch the videos of Claude Alvares handing over the Citizens’ Manifesto to
(a) Elvis Gomes of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) at a press conference. (The video of his response is not available) https://www.facebook.com/AAPG
(b) Digvijay Singh of Indian National Congress (INC) https://youtu.be/VaD81drKTYA
Voters have a chance to view the tracker and see for themselves which candidates/ parties are paying attention to their concerns before they entrust them with the future of Goa.
The Goenchi Mati Movement is a single issue movement which is by policy not aligned with political parties. GMM has asked parties to endorse and incorporate the Goenchi Mati Manifesto into their manifestos for the Goa Assembly elections on Feb 4. The Goenchi Mati Manifesto is available at goenchimati.org/manifesto. It is available in English, with translations into Konkani (Devnagari, Romi), Marathi, Hi