log on to thegoan.net @thegoaneveryday THURSDAY FEBRUARY 18, 2021 GOA Facebook.com/thegoaneveryday The Goan (Playstore) 10 pages PRICE ` 6 PANAJI MARGAO GOA VOLUME VI, NO. 239 Instagram.com/thegoaneveryday RNI: GOAENG/2015/65729 2 3 Congress party ceases to exist in Goa, defector MLAs tell SC Panchayats grope in dark for want of explanation on draft CZMP GOA Municipal elections: BJP faces problem of plenty in Mapusa INDIA No data on efficacy of vaccines against S African, Brazilian variants: Scientists ASSERT GIRISH HAS NO RIGHT TO FILE PETITION IN COURT THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI The Congress party has ceased to exist in Goa and Girish Chodankar who is claiming to be the president of the party has no right to file a petition before the Supreme Court, two defector MLAs Wilfred D’Sa and Clafacio Dias have told the Supreme Court. Filing their responses via affidavit before the Supreme Court to the petition filed by Girish as the president of the Congress, the duo also claimed that the five remaining Congress MLAs were independent and couldn’t be called Congress MLAs. “There being a deemed merger between INC and the BJP, in so far as the proceedings before the Speaker is concerned, the INC on account of deeming fiction ceases to exist as a political party as well as Legislature Party in the State IN SHORT >> Fuel prices soar again for 9th day NEW DELHI: Petrol and diesel prices touched new highs on Wednesday after fuel rates were hiked for the ninth consecutive day. In Delhi, petrol and diesel prices were increased by 25 paise each. Petrol is priced at Rs 89.54 per litre, while diesel at Rs 79.95 per litre in the national capital. Toolkit case: Huge relief for Nikita NEW DELHI: Interim transit bail has been granted to Nikita Jacob giving her a huge relief. The Bombay High Court heard the case related to toolkit associated with Red Fort incident of India. The court said that Nikita had no political or religious associations and agendas. >> See pg 6 European Union envoys in Srinagar SRINAGAR: A 24-member high-level delegation, including envoys and Ambassadors of the European Union (EU) and other foreign countries, arrived in Srinagar on Wednesday morning to assess the ground situation by meeting local civil society groups, elected representatives, political leaders and students. `12k cr scheme for Telecom NEW DELHI: The Cabinet has approved a production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme worth Rs 12,195 crore for telecom equipment manufacturing, to promote manufacture of telecom and networking products in India. Noted Goan Jesuit no more PANAJI: Fr Vasco do Rego, a noted Goan crusader, Konkani stalwart and Jesuit priest, passed away in Pune on Ash Wednesday. He was 96. Fr Rego was widely acknowledged for his contribution to the Church in Goa in the fields of Liturgy in Konkani and translation and editing work of the Konkani >> See pg 5 Bible. WEATHER >> Max: 31.9 C Min: 21.7 C Humidity: 70% TIDES Low: High: 9.08 2.22 20.53 15.31 RESPONSE TO GIRISH’S PETITION Five remaining Congress MLAs are independent and cannot be called Congress MLAs There is a deemed merger between INC and the BJP. The merger with BJP was pursuant to the decision taken in the party meeting of INC held on 10.07.2019 In the meeting out of 15 MLAs, 5 MLAs decided not to join the BJP and further decided to stay out of the merger in a separate group The remaining 10 MLAs who are Respondent Nos 2 to 11 herein merged the INC to BJP and the same was accordingly communicated to the Speaker of the House of Goa. The petitioner (Girish Chodankar) does not have the locus standi to file the present petition as the petition contains misdescription of the petitioner (who) has described himself to be the President of Goa Pradesh Congress Committee of Indian National Congress,” the affidavit reads. “The merger with BJP, in so far as proceedings before the Speaker under the Tenth Schedule are concerned, INC has ceased to exist and has merged in BJP and therefore the remaining 5 MLAs are a group of independent MLAs who are allowed to continue as Members of Legislative Assembly. Thus, the INC being merged with the BJP and the remaining 5 MLAs being independent MLAs, the petitioner has no locus standi to file the present petition in his capacity as President of the party and hence, the petition is liable to be dismissed,” they said. “The merger with BJP was pursuant to the decision taken in the party meeting of INC held on 10.07.2019. In the meeting out of 15 MLAs, 5 MLAs decided not to join the BJP and further decided to stay out of the merger in a separate group. The remaining 10 MLAs who are Respondent Nos 2 to 11 herein merged the INC to BJP and the same was accordingly communicated to the Speaker of the House for making note Fatorda attack leaves cops with many trails to follow ANOTHER ACCUSED NABBED, ONE HOUSE SEARCHED THE GOAN I NETWORK MARGAO The Fatorda police on Wednesday nabbed the second accused, Vipul Pattare, a resident of Khareband, in the armed attack on history-sheeter, Tiger Anwar, and have obtained five-day remand for accused Ricky Hornekar, who was arrested on Tuesday. A host of questions, however, remains unanswered, ranging from the exact motive behind the bloody attack on the gangster, the procurement of the firearm and the accused who had fired the shot that hit the victim’s thigh. Was the attack in any way related to the illegal sand mining or drug trafficking issue or is it simply the running gang rivalry between the groups? These and other questions have become the talking points a day after the attempt to murder hit the headlines, but senior police officials in private say that answer to these questions will come after the end of the investigations. A senior police officer said sand mining may not be the prime reason behind the armed attack, though one of the accused is involved in the of it and for appropriate arrangements in the House for our sitting,” they said. Back in June last year, the Congress had approached the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Speaker that he dispose of the matter within one month, the Congress petition has also sought that the 10 MLAs concerned be restrained to officiate as MLAs and ministers. The Congress has contended that the “merger” of 10 of its MLAs into the BJP was not a merger of parties as envisaged by the 10th schedule of the constitution. Back in June last year, the Congress had approached the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Speaker that he dispose of the matter within one month, the Congress petition has also sought that the 10 MLAs concerned be restrained to officiate as MLAs and ministers sand mining business. When asked whether it could be extortion and demand for money that brought the group to launch the attack on Tiger Anwar, the police said the investigations are at a preliminary stage. Sources in the police department said the accused who had opened fire on the victim is still at large. “Questions such as who had procured the gun and its source will be known after the accused is nabbed,” informed a police officer. The officer added: “Since >Continued on P5 WHY THE ATTACK? Questions remain on the exact motive behind the bloody attack on the gangster, the procurement of the firearm and the accused who had fired the shot that hit the victim’s thigh Police are also looking at the illegal sand mining, drug trafficking gang rivalry angles One of the accused is involved in the drug trade Cabinet grants extension to casinos in Mandovi TAMNAR TRANSMISSION TOWERS APPROVED IN MAYEM THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI The Pramod Sawant-led Cabinet on Wednesday gave yet another extension of six months for the off-shore Casino vessels to be moored in the Mandovi river. The cabinet had in September last granted the casino operators a six months deadline to vacate the navigation channel of Mandovi river. The issue of removing the vessels has been intermittently making headlines for over a decade now. At the 2019 bye-elections held after the death of Manohar Parrikar, Panaji MLA Atanasio (Babush) Monserrate had promised to rid the river of to he Casinos in 100 days of getting elected. However, with the pandemic hitting businesses, Monserrate has diluted his stand claiming that traders are in favour of the casinos staying put in the river. Meanwhile, in other deci- LONDON study which will expose volunteers to the coronavirus is to begin in Britain within a month after it gained approval from the country’s clinical ethics body, the government said on Wednesday. The study, the first of its kind in the world, will expose up to 90 volunteers between 18 and 30 years old to Covid-19 in a controlled environment, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said. The trial will look to establish the smallest amount of virus needed to cause infection, in order to help develop vaccines and treatments. “While there has been very positive progress in vaccine development, we want to find UK is one of the hardest-hit countries by coronavirus with more than 118,000 deaths. the best and most effective vaccines for use over the longer term,” Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said. The study will “help accelerate scientists’ knowledge of how coronavirus affects people and could eventually further the rapid development of vaccines,” he said. Britain, one of the hardest-hit countries in the world by the coronavirus with more than 118,000 deaths, was also the first Western nation to begin a Covid vaccination campaign. The country passed a vaccine milestone at the weekend with 15 million people having PANAJI: The Budget Session of the Goa Legislative Assembly will commence on March 24, according to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. Sawant who addressed his customary post-cabinet press conference said: “The Budget Session of the State Assembly will begin from March 24.” He however did not say what the duration of the Budget session will be. “It has not been decided. The business advisory committee (BAC) of the Assembly will take the decision,” Sawant said. sions, the State Cabinet granted approval to a proposal for erecting power transmission towers on government land which was erstwhile evacuee property in Mayem. The towers are part of the 400 KV double circuit Xeldem-Mapusa Goa Tamnar Transmission Project. Tamnar has sought all the necessary approvals from the North Goa Collector to start construction work at Mayem, including the felling of trees. In yet another decision, the Sawant-led cabinet also extended the one-time settlement scheme for accumulated unpaid arrears of water bills up to February end. The cabinet also extended the 4 per cent reservation for children of freedom fighters for another two years. PANAJI The Directorate of Panchayats has notified polling on March 20 for the bye-poll to the Navelim Zilla Panchayat seat and several wards which are vacant in at least 20-odd panchayats across the State indicating that the municipal and CCP elections too may be held on the same day. The elections to the Navelim ZP seat had been countermanded following the death of the Congress candidate. Eleven municipal councils and CCP are due for elections. The term of the CCP ends in mid-March and those of 11 municipal councils had ended last year but polls were deferred due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The government and the State Election Commission have completed the process of delimiting wards necessitated by the decision of increasing the number of these in some of the councils. The reservation scheme of wards has also been notified already but the process has been challenged through multiple writ petitions in the Bombay High Court at Goa. HARDEST HIT A BAC to decide duration of Budget session: CM THE GOAN I NETWORK The health situation caused by Covid-19 saw church services across the State deviating from the norm of smearing ashes on the forehead. Instead, the blessed packets of ashes were handed out to the laity. Limited congregations, modified services mark Ash Wednesday THE GOAN I NETWORK PANAJI The Catholic community in the State participated in religious services and prayers while also observing abstinence on Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Lent is a 40-day solemn period (excluding Sundays) for the Catholic community which begins with Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Covid-19: World’s first human trials get nod in UK AGENCIES 8 Aus Open: Tsitsipas ends Nadal’s bid for record 21st Grand Slam title Poll for Navelim ZP on Mar 20, likely date for civic polls too BATTLE AHEAD OF 2022 Fatorda police taking accused Vipul Pattare for medical examination after his arrest in the Fatorda attempt to murder case. Santosh Mirajkar 6 SPORTS Britain is one of the hardest-hit countries in the world by the coronavirus with more than 118,000 deaths The country has also passed a vaccine milestone at the weekend with 15 million people having received their first jabs The government is targeting another 17 million people by the end of April, including everyone aged 50 and above, plus starting on second doses received their first jabs. The government is targeting another 17 million people by the end of April, including everyone aged 50 and above, plus starting on second doses. The study, backed by 33.6 million pound ($46.6 million, 38.6 million euros) in government funding, will work in partnership with London’s Royal Free Hospital. Its secure clinical research facilities are specifically designed to contain the virus, the government said. Once the initial phase of the study has concluded, vaccines proven to be safe in clinical trials could be given to small numbers of volunteers who are then exposed to the Covid-19 virus, helping to identify the most effective vaccines. The eventual aim is to establish which vaccines and treatments work best in beating this disease, but volunteers will be needed to support the work. Thursday (April 1). In a departure from tradition and in view of protocols due to the Covid pandemic, the priests did not follow the customary practice of rubbing ashes on the foreheads of the Catholic faithful. Adhering to guidelines issued by the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments last month, the priests recited the traditional, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return,” as part of one common address to the congregation, instead of each congregant. While Masses with limited congregations were celebrated in all churches and chapels in the archdiocese, they were also live-streamed for those unable to participate in the services on Ash Wednesday on account of the prevailing Covid pandemic. >Continued on P5 Farmers set for rail roko today AGENCIES NEW DELHI Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) is all geared for Thursday’s rail roko across the country, even as its leader Rakesh Tikait said that trains will be stopped and flowers offered on the engine. Along with this, he said passengers will also be served tea and breakfast on the way. The protest will be staged from 12 pm to 4 pm. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of protesting farmer unions, which is spearheading the protest, last week had announced the rail blockade to press for its demand to repeal the legislation. In the wake of the rail roko movement, the railways has deployed 20 additional companies of the RPSF across the country, with focus on Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Director-General, Railway Protection Force, Arun Kumar on Wednesday said, “I appeal to everyone to maintain peace. We will be liaisoning with district administrations and will have a control room in place.” Farmers are protesting against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.
The new Goa, with a broader profile of people from different parts of India and the world, needs not just a strong local paper but a complete paper. The Goan on Saturday will connect to and be a viable and comprehensive read for locals, other Indians in Goa, NRI and foreigners. It will also be a bridge for Goans in other parts of India all over the world to their home land. The Goan is published by Goa's most reputed industrial houses.