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The Opposition in Goa led by the Congress on Monday staged a walkout from the Legislative Assembly accusing the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant-led dispensation of tampering with democratic norms.

The Opposition MLAs across party lines also urged Governor Satya Pal Malik not to give his assent to numerous government bills and 86 budgetary demands in the one-day session of the Assembly.

They staged a walkout as the treasury benches refused to heed their collective demand for a discussion on the COVID-19 pandemic in the state as well as the state government’s economic revival plans.

“We request your immediate intervention into the issues and urge you not to give assent to the business transacted in the Goa Legislative Assembly today. We also demand a full-fledged Assembly session may be convened to discuss on all the issues of prime importance such as the COVID pandemic, financial status of the state, economic revival plan and environmental issues,” said the letter signed by Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat and other opposition MLAs and given to the Governor.

“Today, the Goa government has murdered democracy by rejecting discussion on COVID pandemic and passing the state budget for 2020-21 without proper discussion in the Goa Legislative Assembly. The government displayed its insensitive approach towards the health and wellbeing of the people by rejecting the adjournment motion moved by the Opposition MLAs demanding discussion on the COVID-19 pandemic in Goa,” the letter said.

After the Opposition MLAs walked out and met the Governor, accusing the government of mismanaging the pandemic, Sawant passed the Goa budget for the current financial year, as well as other matters listed on the day’s agenda, including several supplementary demands.

Sawant accused the Opposition of trying to rake up non-relevant issues and urged them to cooperate with the government vis-a-vis COVID-19 management.

“We are not scared of discussing the pandemic issue. We have been transparent right from the outset about our plan to tackle the crisis. The Opposition should not have walked out and stayed back in the House to listen to the government’s position on COVID-19,” Sawant said.

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