Indian Constitution was forced upon us: Viriato Fernandes

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Panaji: Congress’ South Goa candidate Viriato Fernandes has said that the Indian Constitution was forced upon Goa after the liberation of state from the Portuguese rule in the year 1961.
Fernandes was addressing an election meeting in South Goa on Monday.

Referring to his conversation with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in the year 2019 during last Lok Sabha election, Fernandes said that he had told Gandhi “when Goa was liberated in the year 1961, the Indian Constitution was forced upon us.”
Addressing a corner meeting in South Goa, Fernandes recalled the day, March 10, 2019 when then Goa Congress chief Girish Chodankar had taken him to meet Gandhi in a hotel near Panaji.

Fernandes was then part of NGO — Goencho Away — which was pressing for the dual citizenship for Goans who have opted for Portuguese passports.
“We raised twelve demands before Gandhi, and one of which was about the dual citizenship.

Gandhi asked me whether the demand was constitutional. We said No,” he told the gathering.
Fernandes said that Gandhi said that the demand would not be considered if it is not constitutional.

“I explained to him that Indian constitution was implemented on January 26, 1950. When Goa was liberated from Portuguese rule in 1961, you forced upon the constitution on us. We were not included in it,” he said.

Fernandes said that he recalled the speech of Gandhi’s grandfather (Jawaharlal Nehru) that Goa will decide its own destiny. “But our destiny was decided by someone else,” he commented.

The Congress candidate said that Gandhi was told by his OSD that he (Fernandes) has got point. “When the Indian constitution was implemented, Goa was not part of India. There was no provision for Goans,” he added.

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