After J&K, Centre may turn Goa into UT: Congress leader

Panaji, Aug 6 (IANS) Former Chief Minister and Congress MLA Luizinho Faleiro, here on Tuesday, expressed the apprehension that Goa could also be turned into a Union Territory (UT) with a law similar to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, however, said it was "impossible" to dissolve Goa as a state.

Faleiro was speaking on a motion to congratulate Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for the bifurcation of J&K, turning it into two UTs -- J&K and Ladakh -- and scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution.

"Under the same draconian law, Goa can be converted into an UT or can be even merged with Maharashtra," Faleiro said in the Assembly.

In India's first referendum in 1967, Goa, liberated from the Portuguese rule in 1961, voted to remain an independent territory in the Indian Union instead of being merged with Maharashtra. After being an UT for more than two decades, Goa attained statehood in 1987.

Responding to Faleiro's statement, Panchayat Minister Mauvin Godinho accused the Congress leader of raising "unnecessary" fears and said he was not aware of the ground realities in J&K.

The Chief Minister also urged Faleiro to speak with caution as "it is impossible to dissolve Goa as a state".

--IANS

maya/mag/pcj

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