Goa on Sunday marked opinion poll day known as Asmitai Dis

16 Jan 2022 06:40 PM

Goa on Sunday marked opinion poll day known as Asmitai Dis. The opinion poll stopped Goa’s merger into Maharashtra giving Goa its own identity. Founder of Goa Opinion Poll Dr. Jack Sequeira is remembered on this day.

The Goa Opinion Poll was held on 16 January 1967 a referendum held in newly annexed union territory to deal with the Konkani language agitation and to decide the future of Goa. The referendum backed by United Goans Party, offered the people of Goa a choice between continuing as a separate territory of India,

or merging with the state of Maharashtra, the latter being the agenda of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party. It is the only referendum to have been held in independent India. The people of Goa voted against the merger and Goa continued to be a union territory. Subsequently, in 1987, Goa became a full-fledged state within the Indian Union.

 The United Goans Party, headed by Jack Sequeira, knew that merger issue in the state assembly won’t reach to a conclusion. Merging Goa into another state was a monumental decision.

 So they pressed for a people's referendum instead of a vote among the representatives. Sequeira along with other MLAs met Indira Gandhi and submitted a memorandum that such a monumental decision affecting the future of the State could not be left to legislators alone, but should be put before the people to decide.

There were 3,88,432 eligible voters. A total of 3,17,633 votes were polled. Three days were allotted for the counting. 54.20% voted against merger whereas 43.50% voted in favour. Thus, Goans rejected the merger with Maharashtra by a vote of 1,72,191. The anti-mergerists won by 34,021 votes.

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