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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Goa not ready for merger of border taluks..

Karwar: "It is like making mountain out of a molehill, it is just media hype, nothing else," this is how the public here have been reacting to the controversy created by Goa Konkani Rajya Ekikarana Munch and Samyukta Gomantaka Munch with their campaign for merger of border taluks of Karwar, Joida and Haliyal with Goa.

When a public debate on the issue was arranged here on Wednesday, only two representatives of these two forums , Asha Palankar, the president of Goa Konkani Rajya Ekikarana Munch and her spouse, Prakash Palankar, the executive member of the Munch attended it. The efforts of these two get others to the munch through phone failed vindicating the assertion of the others who participated in the debate that munch was a two-member forum only.

The theory presented by the couple that Konkani speaking people want to be part of Goa and the Kadambas, who ruled Kannada state from Banavasi were originally from Goa was out rightly rejected by the pro Kannada activists who have participated in the debate in large number.

They pointed out that it was Konkani speaking people only who argued before the Mahajan Commission that these border taluks should be Karnataka only. They argued that majority of Konkani speaking people opposed the merger move. They alleged that the couple had been spearheading the campaign for merger only for personal gains. In fact the controversy was kicked off a few months ago when a senior BJP leader of the district, S R Pikle, in a meeting held at Sadashivgad, spoke in favour of merger.

It may be noted that Asha Palankar, one time municipal councilor, is also a BJP activist. However the Karwar taluk unit of the BJP has distanced itself from that statements made by Pikle and Palankar in respect of merger. Pikle withdrew his statement later on by saying that he was quoted out of context. BJP MLA, Gangadhar Bhat, too raised the issue in the Assembly stating that the people of Joida taluk were keen for merger with Goa. Later he clarified that he had made the statement to draw the attention of the government for the immediate need to develop the backward taluk of Joida.

According to the functionaries of Karwar unit of BJP, Manohar Parikkar, the BJP leader and also former chief minister of Goa, had advised them not to enter into controversy. He had made it clear that though the people of the three border taluks were prepared to be part of Goa, Goa would not be ready for the inclusion of these taluks in its territory.

Under the circumstances the right way for the government is to understand the pulse of the people and give greater attention for the development of the border areas, it is argued.

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