At an interactive workshop on Special Status for Goa held at Margao on Saturday, the participants unanimously resolved to demand accord this status to Goa under Article 371 of the Constitution of India.
The main reason for demanding this status is to protect the land as it was pointed out that non-Goans were purchasing land in Goa as a result of which land prices have skyrocketed making them prohibitive for Goans to possess not only land but even an apartment in Goa.
“Coupled with this fact is the reality of large number of migrants descending upon Goa due to the faulty industrial policies of the government due to which very shortly, Goans will be reduced to a minority in their own land,” was the refrain at the meeting.
Besides, it was also argued that this status should be granted to Goa given the fact that Goa’s needs and requirements were not considered when the Constitution was drafted as it was under the Portuguese rule then and had also missed two plan periods before it was liberated.
Former MLA Matanhy Saldanha who is spearheading the movement for demanding Special Status pointed out that since 70 per cent of Goa’s population comprised of SC, ST and OBC, it had a very strong case to demand special status.
He also cautioned the people not to fall prey to the machinations of the power to be trying to hoodwink the people by promising alternatives like prohibiting sale of agricultural land to non-farmers.