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Goa government to hire international agency to check imported fish

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Margao: In order to restore trust of people in the fish that they buy from the markets, specially the wholesale, Goa government on Monday announced that they will hire the services of international agency to check the quality of fish that is imported in the State.

State government’s High Level Committee comprising State Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai, State Food and Drugs Administration minister Vishwajit Rane, State Fisheries minister Vinod Palyekar and others met in Margao town this morning.

“There are fears being raised about use of formalin in the fish. We have decided to address these doubts by hiring an international agency which will conduct tests on the fish that is imported in Goa from other states,” Rane told reporters after the culmination of the meeting.

He said that State government will finalise the international agency within 24 hours and as soon as possible, it will be invited to work in Goa along with State Food and Drugs Administration department.

Rane said that the decision to invite international agency was taken after consulting Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). “We need to restore trust of the people in fish,” he said.

Goa has been witnessing fear about formalin being used on the fish, as a preservative, that is imported from other states. State Chief Minister had banned the import of fish in July this year which was lifted next month, August.

“People’s trust need to be restored and for that we have taken necessary steps. High level of standards would be maintained. The agency would be credible and recommended by Government of India,” Rane said.

He also said that the unlicenced fish traders will not be allowed to operate in the State after October 15.

State Town and Country Planning minister Vijai Sardesai said that State government is concerned that fish, which is staple diet, is bought and sold without any mistrust.

“We discussed entire issue and decided to take few measures which will bring Goa to adopt highest standards so that the fish is not laced with any substance that is harmful to health,” he added.

Sardesai said that government is willing to clamp down on any trader if any fish is found laced with chemicals.

The minister, who had met chief minister Manohar Parrikar at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi where he is admitted for the treatment, said that the latter was briefed about the action of opposition Congress party which was frequently creating doubt about the fish in the minds of the people.

“I had met CM to discuss issue about issue related to fish.. We are concerned about it.. Every now and then we should be subjected to test from the opposition,” he said.

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In the Spotlight

Bloody Tuesday for the Goa Congress

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Cong wary that some MLAs may be looking at Goa Forwad as an option

GPCC Chief Girish Chodankar was at the receiving end of party MLAs

Architect of Cong defections Vishwajit Rane condemned, his father fumed, saying the Cong would hit back during the by elections in Mandrem and Shiroda

Team Spotlight

GOA:  Tuesday was bloody for the Congress party in Goa which was flying high after BJP-led government was struck with series of illness troubles. The party which boasted of being the single largest unit in the Goa Legislative Assembly slipped down to the level of the BJP after two of its MLas – Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar, flew to Delhi to land in the BJP

Mandrem MLA Dayanand Sobte told reporters at the airport on the wee hours of Monday, before he left for Delhi “ (I am going to Delhi) on a business trip. I am a businessman”. Tuesday morning showed what a shrewd ‘businessman’ he was

The Goa Spotlight was the first news website to report about Sopte and Shirodkar flying to Delhi to join BJP.

The Congress party was ‘shocked’ and could not believe that Sopte and Shirodkar who were part of their CLP meeting on Monday morning could do this to them.

All MLAs including Luizinho Faleiro who flew to Goa from Delhi participated in a marathon meeting. But what was decided in the meeting was “nothing but a statement condemning the BJP.”

AICC Secretary and Goa desk in charge, A Chellakumar, who was seen accusing BJP Minister Vishwajit Rane for the split, was clearly stumped.

The official residence of the Leader of Opposition Chandrakant (Babu) Kavlekar, turned into a den for Congress party MLA’s, suspicious of each other. Taleigao MLA Jeniffer Monserratte, St Andre MLA Francis Silveira and St Cruz MLA Tony Fernandes were looked at with suspicion. They assured the party that they would not switch over. But their assurances were taken with more than a pinch of salt.

Another MLA Pratapsinh Rane, the father of the architect of defections, Vishwajit Rane, was also considered as a probable who might ditch the  Congress. Senior Rane was not initially present for the meeting in the morning but joined later.

“We will fight back. There are by-elections to come in these constituencies,” said Senior Rane talking to reporters.

Senior Rane appeared to be upset with the action of his son who was then busy in Delhi inducting Sopte and Shirodkar in the BJP.

“The Congress is now watching the moment of Goa Forward Party as they have the capability to take away few of our MLAs. That could happen any time,” a senior Congress leader said.

While the Congress leadership put brave face in front of media after their day long meeting, the insiders said that GPCC President Girish Chodankar was the target of a few MLAs

Chodankar’s brazen and politically untenable “untouchability” towards the Goa Forward Party and Vijai Sardesai was considered as a reason for frustration being built up in the party. The party which has been trying to staking claim to form the government has failed to take concrete steps to win over other allies.

While Congress leaders will continue to have sleepless night after today’s incident, the BJP and its allies too are watching what is going to happen next on Goa’s political front.

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Shirodkar, Sopte fly to Delhi to land in BJP

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  1. Cong MLAs Dayanand Sopte, Subhash Shirodkar fly to Delhi to meet the BJP ‘high’ command
  2. Both legislators likely to resign Cong, join BJP
  3. Vishwajit Rane manages to poach in Congress

 

Team Spotlight

GOA: The battlelines in Goa’s politics seem to have been drawn. After months of discussions and strategies, finally the political parties, or at least the ruling combnation are getting their weapons out

In a late evening development,  BJP minister Vishwajit Rane showed his first move to the Congress by poaching from their camp. Mandrem MLA Dayanand Sopte and Shiroda MLA Subhash Shirodkar are on their way to Delhi to join BJP.

Sources stated that both the legislators will meet BJP National President Amit Shah on Tuesday in Delhi where they will formally announce their switch over to BJP. Later in the afternoon they will resign as MLAs and also from primary membership of the party.

The State will witness by-election in Shiroda and Mandrem constituencies in the days to come.

Highly placed sources stated that both MLAs haddecided about shifting to BJP but time and again had gone public with their claim that they were being victimized through rumours.

Sopte had made a public speech during Amit Shah’s Goa visit denying the possibility of him joining BJP. But later he had softened his tone claiming that BJP has been doing lot of developmental works in his constituency.

The Congress party which has claimed that they have numbers to form the government was shocked with the movement of its legislators.

All India congress Committee Secretary A Chellakumar who is down in Goa had also visited Shirodkar’s house on Monday evening to get an assurance that he won’t leave the party.

But the things seems to have changed in the night. Vishwajit Rane who is currently a front runner for CM’s post, if Parrikar steps down due to his ill health, has managed to take both the legislators to Delhi.

When contacted, Vishwajit refused to divulge any details but said “I am with CM Manohar Parrikar. He is my leader and I cant imagine beyond that,” Vishwajit said.

The entire game-plan seems to be aiming at reducing the strength of Congress on the floor of the House.

BJP is left with only 11 legislators as three of its members are sick. This was posing as a difficult situation for the party on the floor of the House. Reducing the number of Congress MLAs seems to be the only option left in front of Parrikar led government which it is implementing.

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Jumping jack, Trajano D’Mello has proven that he is a political nomad

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Team Spotlight

GOA: Goa Forward Party’s ( almost certainly outgoing) Chief Spokesman Trajano D’Mello has been a political nomad after travelling across eight political parties during his career. D’Mello who has taken up purported cudgels against party chief Vijai Sardesai over the issue of harassment to a lady staffer of Food and Drugs Administration Department.

The party has been quick to react and issued him a show cause notice for going public over his so called dissent against alleged harassment by the party towards an officer of the Food and Drugs Administration

This sudden awakening against Sardesai has been looked upon as a signal by ‘Jumping jack’: D’Mello that he is planning yet another jump, in his long journey of party changes

If sources are to be believed, D’Mello has been recently meeting NCP legislator Churchill Alemao, indicating that he might do ‘gharwapasi.’ He was been seen in the Toyota vehicle of an NCP party man, of late

Churchill Alemao himself, has been fence-sitting from March 2017 when he could not make his mind whether to support Manohar Parrikar-led group or be with Luizinho Faleiro-led Congress camp. He missed the bus then.

NCP Goa President Jose Philip D’Souza has not been active in the political circles recently, and is hardly seen making any statements. NCP is almost nullified with most of the leaders deserting the party. D’Mello and Nilkant Halarnkar had earlier deserted Sharad Pawar-led party to join Congress.

The Goa Spotlight tracked the journey of jumping jack D’Mello only to find out that he was the first Panch member of BJP in the country.

It was the time when saffron party was lesser known and D’Mello was a popular figure.

He later went on to join Congress. D’Mello’s closeness with former chief minister Dr Wilfred D’Souza is well known in Saligao constituency.

D’Mello along with Dr Willy migrated to Goa Rajiv Congress.

The Rajiv Congress experiment could not survive for long and D’Mello joined Congress back only quit it again and join Vijay Mallya’s fledgling and untested Janata Party.

Not surprisingly, the Janata Party too could not click in Goa, forcing D’Mello to do a ‘gharwapasi’ He came back to the Congress again and continued his journey to Nationalist Congress party.

He remained as a face of NCP in press conferences before the party failed to retain their presence in the State. D’Mello later joined Congress but suddenly changed in mind in favour of Vijai Sardesai and then finally joined Goa Forward Party.

While there are no permanent friends or foes in politics, jumping jack Demello has been the proverbial rolling stone which has gathered no moss.

Congress, janata party, congress, ncp, congress, goa forward.

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