Panaji, Jan 24 (PTI) The Goa Forward Party, an ally of ruling BJP, today said they would try to unite various parties to pass a resolution in the Assembly for erecting a statue of Dr Jack Sequeira, who had spearheaded the movement against Goa’s merger with Maharashtra, at the Assembly complex. Also Read - Vote Do, Neend Lo? Goa Politician Promises Compulsory Nap Hour If He Becomes CM in 2022

In its core committee meeting held on Monday, the BJP refused to entertain the GFP’s demand for installation of the statue. Also Read - Pramod Sawant Succeeds Manohar Parrikar as 11th Goa CM; Vijai Sardesai, Sudin Dhavalikar Take Oath as Deputy CMs

“The GFP is firm on its demand. We will lobby with all the legislators cutting across party lines for the purpose,” GFP chief spokesman Trajano D’Mello told reporters here today. Also Read - Guj: After GSRTC staff, over 2 lakh teachers launch stir

Dr Sequeira was at the forefront to oppose the merger of Goa into Maharashtra during the historic opinion poll held in year 1967. He is popularly called as the “Father of the Goa opinion poll”.

D’Mello claimed that BJP legislator and Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo has already volunteered to pass a private member resolution on the floor of the House during the budget session beginning next month.

“Lobo has announced publicly and also informed our leader that he will introduce the private member resolution during the budget session,” the GFP leader said.

He said all the three GFP ministers–Vijay Sardessai, Jayesh Salgonkar and Vinod Palyenkar—will extend their support to the resolution.

D’Mello said discussion on the resolution will allow each of the 40 MLAs to spell out his/her stand on this crucial demand to respect the Father of the Opinion Poll.

He dismissed reports that the GFP’s demand was political in nature.

The GFP leader conceded that erecting the statue was never a part of the Common Minimum Programme worked out by the Manohar Parrikar-led government.

The BJP-led dispensation comprises the GFP, the Maharashrewadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and Independents.

The BJP had decided not to support the installation of any other statue on the assembly complex apart from the one existing of Goa’s first Chief Minister Dayanand Bandodkar.

The party had said that obliging the GFP’s demand would trigger similar demands as a large number of poeple had participated in the Goa freedom movement, opinion poll, and the all round development of the state.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.