On Friday, the speaker of the Goa assembly, Ramesh Tawadkar, denied permission for a discussion on the Manipur issue. This decision led to immediate protests from Opposition members who then walked out of the assembly. Tawadkar explained that he was concerned that discussing the Manipur issue could disrupt the peaceful atmosphere in Goa, a state known for its diverse and harmonious community. He wanted to avoid any conflicts among the Goan population.
Tawadkar defended his decision by stating that allowing the resolution would create divisions among the peaceful communities of Goa. In response, Opposition members organized a sit-in protest outside the assembly complex. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant believed that the Opposition members were trying to disturb communal harmony without a valid reason. The Opposition had protested after a resolution introduced by AAP MLA Cruz Silva was rejected. Tawadkar suggested that the discussion could take place on a designated private members’ day.
The leader of the opposition, Yuri Alemao, criticized the speaker’s decision as “undemocratic.” Opposition members pointed out the inconsistency in allowing a ruling member to present a resolution condemning a BBC documentary unrelated to Goa while disallowing the Manipur resolution. Pramod Sawant acknowledged the concerns surrounding Manipur but noted that the Supreme Court and the Union Home Ministry were already addressing the situation. AAP MLA Cruz Silva had introduced a resolution condemning the violence in Manipur and urging both governments to ensure peace and engage in dialogue with the community.
In response to the Opposition’s disruptions, all seven opposition members were initially suspended from the legislative assembly for two days on Monday. However, this suspension period was later reduced to 24 hours.