Panaji: Goa Forward Party (GFP) President and deputy chief minister Vijai Sardesai today urged the Chief Electoral officer (CEO) to exempt socio-religious activities, tourism and hospitality industry from the purview of model code of conduct, which is currently in force.
CEO today afternoon held all party meeting to discuss on the crucial issue of relaxation to religious activities. The political parties were unanimous in demanding the same.
Speaking to reporters post meeting, Sardesai said that there is clear unanimity amongst all the party that there should be exemption not only to social religious functions but also to tourism and hospitality industry as they are main stream to our economy.
“We respect Election Commission as Custodian of India’s democracy but Model Code of Conduct should respect Goa’s socio-religious heritage. The Code is now acting as a deterrent to Goa’s economy by stifling the tourism and hospitality industry which is the mainstay of Goa’s economy,” he said.
Deputy CM said that the tourism stakeholders are likely to lose their season as Code has brought dry period for them which will extend to May end, due to Panaji by-elections, which are scheduled on May 19.
“ Public sentiment is going against ECI and corrective measures should be taken to exempt socio religious functions and tourism Industry from Code restrictions,” he said.
Sardesai said that he specially went for the meeting to voice these sentiments and asked other political parties to make their stand clear in the issue.
Later, CEO IAS Kunal said that the meeting has unanimously resolved that there will not be any obstructions and disturbance to any kind of celebrations, which are traditionally happening in the temples and churches. He said necessary directions would be issued to the flying squads through district election officers.