PANAJI: Even as Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has nominated Speaker of the state legislative assembly Dr Pramod Sawant to unfurl the national flag on Independence Day at the state-level function to be held in Panaji, questions are being raised within the ruling coalition and opposition over the particular ‘unprecedented’ practice by the government.
The Chief Minister has nominated the Speaker for hoisting the flag on August 15 at the state-level function in his absence. Parrikar flew to the US on August 9 for follow-up treatment related to his pancreatic ailment. He will be back in Goa by August 18.
Some members of the BJP-led coalition government have expressed surprise and displeasure over the decision of the Chief Minister to nominate the Speaker to unfurl the tricolour during the Independence Day function in spite of the presence of cabinet ministers.
Opposition Congress has already objected to the Speaker hoisting the national flag on August 15 and called it a ‘break in convention and protocol.’ It has demanded Governor’s intervention in the matter.
This will be for the first time in the history of Goa that Speaker of the legislative assembly will be unfurling the national flag on a nationally important day at state-level function when the elected government is in power.
There is also a convention as per which on Independence Day and Goa Liberation Day, the Chief Minister spells out achievements and makes an announcement on policy decisions of the government. Now, in this particular case, questions have been raised on whether the Speaker of the legislative assembly can deliver such a speech on behalf of the government.
It is also learnt that there is displeasure among some of the cabinet ministers as to why the Chief Minister has not authorised one of them to receive the honour on Independence Day.
After the Chief Minister, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) leader and Minister for Public Works Ramakrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar is second in command in the cabinet, who will unfurl the flag at Ponda, and Goa Forward party chief and Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai, who is third in rank position, will unfurl the flag at Margao.
Source:: The Navhind Times