“The excuse given by the government that they will change the dates from next year is only a diversion strategy. It is really hard for the people to believe the same as the Congress party is in power since the past few years and has done nothing to change the closing ceremony dates clashing with the feast day, which has been always a public holiday in Goa,” expressed Damodar Naik, BJP Legislature Speaker.
He further added, we are seeing the real face of democracy as the government is trying to divert and mislead the people by blaming the International Film Committee and International Federation of Film Producers Association (FIAPF) and to the Film Federation of India (FFI) as being responsible for changing the IFFI dates. These organisations have nothing to do with finalising the dates which is the responsibility of the Director of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India and the Goa government through Entertainment Society of Goa.
BJP called upon both the Chief Minister, Digambar Kamat and Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni to stop being dishonest and making people believe as statements which are false as true. It is the duty of the IFFI steering committee to organise IFFI and they have to plan the dates in advance and accordingly informed the International film committee and film federations to avoid clashing with other International film festivals held all over the world.
“Even during the year 2004 when IFFI first came to Goa during the BJP regime the closing ceremony was held on 9th December so that there was no clash of the closing ceremony with that of St. Francis Xavier feast at Old Goa. It is noteworthy that in the same year, a special exposition of the St. Francis Xavier was held where in a special committee was constituted which was headed by Bosco George and assisted by Allan DSa breaking the tradition of involving Delhi based IPS Officers in the same as these two would interact with the Church authorities in a better way and ensure the smooth running of the exposition, said Naik.
For the smooth passing of this exposition, a special bypass to the national highway was also made ready within a record time of 65 days and avoiding all bottlenecks, despite objections from national highways authority. It may be recalled that a major fire broke-out in the church premises at that time and Manohar Parrikar was the first person to reach there and ensure necessary action from Government authorities. The necessary infrastructure for the devotees of St. Francis Xavier were also made ready at that time in a time-bound manner, Naik further reiterated.
“Had this been done during BJP Government, Congress would have been first to cry hoarse in labelling BJP as a communal party. But in this case, this decision of the Congress party has left it red faced, expressed Naik.
The decision of the Congress Government to clash the dates of closing ceremony of IFFI and the Feast of St. Francis Xavier is a clear attack on the religious sentiments of Goans. Bharatiya Janata Party demands that, the said closing ceremony may be postponed in the interest of the above issue in question.