Goa Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai today alleged a faction of the Goa Church is supporting the agitation, which he said is being politicised in the Congress’ favour.
The Goa Regional Plan 2021 was revived last month by the state government, six years after it was put on hold due to protests. The Plan allows construction activities, on case to case basis, on the lands notified as settlement, commercial, institutional and industrial zones.
However, protesters have upped the ante again demanding scrapping of the Plan.
Civil society groups, being supported by the Council for Social Justice and Peace (CSJP), have called for a meeting on April 27 at the historic Lohia ground in Margao against the Plan.
The CSJP is the social work wing of the Archdiocese of Goa.
Sardesai said a particular arm of the Church is supporting the protest against the Plan.
“That particular arm of the Church should tell us what they want. We have been constantly hearing what they don’t want. We now want to know what they want,” the minister told media.
He said the role of the Church should be to create consensus and not confrontation.
“This organ of the Church is supporting this agitation which is completely politicised in the favour of the Congress. I expect the Church to play the role of a mediator and not act like instigators. Church officials are not supporting this agitation. It may be this particular organ of the church which is completely politicised,” he said.
He demanded agitators to make public the “list of politicians who have been benefitted due to revival of the Plan”.
“The protesters have said that they will expose the politicians who have taken the benefit of Regional Plan 2021 and converted their lands illegally. I am waiting eagerly for the list. The plan was drafted during the tenure of the Congress government, so if at all beneficiaries are there they should be from the Congress’ side,” he said.