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Thursday, February 9, 2023

Shiv Sena criticizes Congress MLA Francis Silveira for playing vote bank politics  

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Panaji: Shiv Sena in Goa has come in the support of State Health Department’s ambitious project providing free Hearse Van services at Goa Medical College and Hospital, Bambolim.

Sena’s Vice President Rakhi Prabhudesai Naik, in a statement released here on Tuesday, has congratulated Health Minister Vishwajit Rane for this pro-poor step, but has said “mandatorily the Goan staff should operate this free service.”

The introduction of free Hearse Van service at Goa Medical College and Hospital had evoked criticism from Congress MLA Francis Silveira, who backed the private operators of Ambulance service at GMCH. He had opposed the service claiming that it would eat into the business of the existing private Ambulance operators at GMCH.

Hope Foundation, a NGO that flagged off this issue to the government, a year back, had said that the free Hearse Van service should not be scrapped by State government bowing to the threats of private operators or politicians.

Sena is the latest one to come in support of Rane. Naik has said that the action of Silveira to oppose free service is “condemnable, deplorable and anti-poor.”

“Shiv Sena condemns Silveira’s vote bank politics by resorting to unwarranted agitation against government’s action of introducing the free Hearse Van service at Goa Medical College and Hospital, Bambolim,” Naik said, while congratulating Hope Foundation for “raising issue of relevance to common people”.

She said that the free service would go a long way to help relatives of the deceased people, who were forced to shell out thousands of rupees to get the body, back home from GMCH

“It is high time that politicians like Silveira should stop working against the interest of Goa and the poor people living in the State. Congress during their tenure, could not do anything to improve the standard of living of people in the State, now they should at least stop creating hurdles in schemes that provide solace to the economically weaker section,” she added.

Naik said that there was urgent need to weed out this `Ambulance mafia’ against whom Shiv Sena has also been receiving several complaints in the past.

“We congratulate Health Minister Vishwajit Rane for his pro-active step. But at the same time, we appeal government to ensure that only Goans are give employment on this free Hearse Van service,” Naik added.

“We will not tolerate any non-Goan being employed there. Sena will have manpower audit on these Hearse Van through Right to Information and other tools,” she said.

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