No decision on Good Governance Day yet: Goa

Panaji: Defying Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan and BJP’s controversial diktat to observe Christmas (December 25) as ‘Good Governance Day’, the saffron party’s alliance government in Goa said it has taken no specific decision on the matter.

This was stated by Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar in a written reply to an unstarred question tabled on Tuesday during the ongoing budget session of the state legislative assembly.

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Asked by Independent legislator Vijai Sardesai whether the Goa government will celebrate December 25 as a Good Governance Day in 2015 and subsequent years, Parsekar specifically said: “No decision in this matter has been taken.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government had in December last year, unveiled a nationwide initiative to mark former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday on December 25 as ‘Good Governance Day’.

As part of the initiative, the BJP’s central leadership had asked the bureaucrats in BJP-ruled states to report to work, even if for a few hours and follow a work protocol prepared by the central government.

This move, which came on the heels of Union human resource ministry’s oblique attempt at the time, to get students to attend school on December 25, had resulted triggered nationwide opposition, especially from minority organisations, which accused the BJP-led coalition of trying to hurt the sentiment of Christians who celebrate Christmas on December 25.

This pressure had also forced the BJP-led coalition government in Goa, a state where Christians account for more than 26 percent of the population, to drop the Good Governance Day agenda altogether, with Parsekar refusing to follow the prime minister’s line in 2014.

“We have informed our High Command that we will be unable to observe Good Governance Day on December 25. But we will do it (conduct programmes as per the central government initiative) before and after that day…” Parsekar had said.