'Ready For Open Debate': Congress' Viriato Fernandes Challenges CM Sawant For Criticising His 'Constitution Forced Upon Goans' Remarks

'Ready For Open Debate': Congress' Viriato Fernandes Challenges CM Sawant For Criticising His 'Constitution Forced Upon Goans' Remarks

Fernandes' comments came during a corner meeting in South Goa,͏ where he recalled his conversation with Congress leader Rah͏ul Gandhi in March 2019 ab͏out the issue of du͏al͏ citizenship for Goans.

Rahul MUpdated: Tuesday, April 23, 2024, 02:06 PM IST
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Congress candidate from South Goa Captain Viriato Fernandes said on late Monday that he was "ready for an open debate" after Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant criticised him over his remarks on the Constitution. Fernandes triggered outrage after he said that the Indian Constitution was "forced upon" Goans.

Fernandes' comments came during a corner meeting in South Goa,͏ where he recalled his conversation with Congress leader Rah͏ul Gandhi in March 2019 ab͏out the issue of du͏al͏ citizenship for Goans.

“We had raised 12 demands before him (Rahul) and one of them concerned dual citizenship. He said the demand would not be considered if it is not constitutional. I explained to him that the Indian Constitution was implemented on January 26, 1950. When Goa was liberated from Portuguese rule in 1961, you (the Centre) forced the Constitution upon us. We were not included in it,” said Fernandes.

“When the Indian Constitution was implemented, Goa was not part of India. There was no provision for Goans.”

The remarks triggered a sharp response from CM Sawant who accused the Congress of "Bharat Todo politics". "I am appalled by the comments from Congress's South Goa candidate claiming the Indian Constitution was forcefully imposed upon Goans. Our freedom fighters believed wholeheartedly that Goa is an inseparable part of India. Congress delayed Goa's liberation by 14 years. Now, their candidate dares to undermine the Indian Constitution? Congress must stop this reckless Bharat Todo politics immediately. Congress is a threat to our democracy," Sawant said in a post on X.

However, Fernandes accused Sawant of misinterpreting his statement. "Dear @goacm, Dont try to twist & turn selective words from my speech to get political mileage & spread venom. I am ready for an open Debate on what i spoke as well as issues of Destruction of Identity of Goa, Rise in Unemployment, Inflation, Crimes & Corruption under @BJP4India," he said on X.

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