Local Goa News

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Goa assembly functions for just 34 days a year: Association of Democratic Reforms

PANAJI: While the average Goan toils through the year to earn a livelihood, Goa's 40 MLAs officially reported to work for just 34 days per year during the current government's tenure, the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), a non-partisan NGO, said. The total number of assembly sittings since the BJP government came to power in 2012, stands at 136 days, ADR stated in a report that was prepared based on information obtained through RTI.

Political watchers, however, said the trend has persisted under successive decades in Goa.
"Unlike the assemblies of other states, which function for an average of 55-60 days every year, in Goa it is just 34 days on an average. The state's elected MLAs are not functioning as often as they should and not as much as the people would expect," ADR's state coordinator, Bhasker Assoldekar, said.
ADR went on to demand that every political party include various parameters for improving the performance of legislators in their election manifestoes. The political reforms-oriented organization also demanded that candidates with criminal backgrounds be denied tickets ahead of elections.
"While most legislatures are now passing recommendations for an increase in MLAs' salaries and perks, there is virtually no discussion on the role of MLAs," Assoldekar said.
ADR stated that to date, the state legislative assembly functioned for 14, short sessions. "Assemblies are being convened for a very short time despite legislation being the main task of the MLAs," ADR said in a report. The NGO is also expected to present a report on the candidates that will contest the coming 2017 state assembly election as part of its flagship programme, 'Election Watch'.
National Election Watch (NEW) and ADR have been conducting election watches across India since 2002. Affidavits of candidates contesting elections are minutely examined and citizens are provided with information of their background details to help them make an informed choice.

TOI Goa News

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