ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Gallup on Goa

Yet once again the Congress Parliamentary Board has taken a decision on the future of Goa. It is now to be decided through a referendum—that is what the 'opinion poll' really is, though with typical Congress logic the Parliamentary Board shied away from using the term after conceding the principle for fear that it might create a precedent'—in which the people of Goa will indicate whether they wish to remain a Union Territory or merge with Maharashtra. This is not the first time that the Congress Parliamentary Board has announced a decision on Goa, but for the first time its decision seems likely to be acceptable to all the parties to the dispute.

Yet once again the Congress Parliamentary Board has taken a decision on the future of Goa. It is now to be decided through a referendum—that is what the 'opinion poll' really is, though with typical Congress logic the Parliamentary Board shied away from using the term after conceding the principle for fear that it might create a precedent'—in which the people of Goa will indicate whether they wish to remain a Union Territory or merge with Maharashtra. This is not the first time that the Congress Parliamentary Board has announced a decision on Goa, but for the first time its decision seems likely to be acceptable to all the parties to the dispute.

As the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and the Maharashtra Congress were interpreting the results of the first elections in Goa in 1963 as a popular verdict in favour of merger with Maharashtra, the Congress Parliamentary Board decided in April 1964 that Goa would remain a Union Territory for ten years after which the question of merger with Maharashtra would be decided by ascertaining the wishes of the people. This decision—made under pressure from the Goa Congress, which was all but wiped out in the election, and the United Goans, which emerged as the second biggest party, both of whom wanted Goa's Union Territory status to be continued, and the Mysore Congress which wanted to prevent merger with Maharashtra at any cost— was not made public till November 1964 when a statement by S K Patil in Panjim disclosing its contents raised a storm in Maharashtra. Within days the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee passed a resolution demanding immediate merger of Goa with Maharashtra. The Goa Assembly followed with a similar resolution in January 1965. The Chief Minister of Mysore countered this by reminding the Central Government of the Congress Parliamentary Board's decision of April 1964 and asking it to stand by it. The Maharashtra Assembly then passed a unanimous resolution supporting the one passed by the Goa Assembly. Not to be outdone, the Mysore Assembly passed a counter resolution supporting the State Chief Minister's stand and adding, for good measure, that if Goa was to be merged with any State, it should be with Mysore.

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