IT WAS WOMEN’S DAY OUT: On International Women’s Day on March 8 the iconic Taj Fort Aguada Resort & Spa and Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa played host to the first of a series of Westside events. The Westside Style Retreat invited eight of the retail house’s loyal patrons to experience the best of both Tata brands over a 2-day “staycation.” The women attended seminars on fragrance, beauty and home, indulged in culinary demos curated by the Taj chefs. There was dining by the 300-year-old banyan tree at Taj Holiday Village’s Thai restaurant as also at Morisco’s Goan Heritage where a Goan heritage thali was served. There was also the treat of an exclusive interaction session by fashion brands representative Sameera Reddy at Villa Siolim. IHCL has recently launched its premium homestays called ãma stays and trails and here the actor and lifestyle influencer shared her inspiring journey into body positivity, appreciating the manner in which Westside’s new line ‘Limitless’ celebrates authenticity and promotes self-love! Present at the exclusive event were Umashan Naidoo (head, Customer & Beauty, Westside) and Anmol Ahluwalia (cluster general manager Taj, North Goa) who appreciated this thrilling association with Westside in promoting excellence in “unique offerings of trust, awareness and joy.”


THE Assembly polls in Goa threw up an unusual verdict. It seems to favour the BJP but it is still fraught with deficiencies that do not augur well. Just like in 2017 when the BJP polled a shade over 33% of the vote share, however its strike rate improved from 13 to a high of 20, with several close shaves.
The chief minister, Pramod Sawant, got a scare courtesy Dharmesh Saglani of the Congress. Although on the surface the BJP has won comfortably victory is jittery, in spite of the anti-incumbancy factor of the Congress and the bad governance of Pramod Sawant in the last term.
Digambar Kamat did extremely well for four consecutive terms. AAP managed to make it to baptism with two seats and three Independents rounded off the tally. Michael Lobo of Congress has a point to prove as he helped win four seats out of seven seats in Bardez.
Babush Monserrate, trying to tighten his grip on Tiswadi, has to be satisfied with just two wins for the BJP. The environmentalist soldier lost to Mauvin Godinho of the BJP on Congess ticket. I was disturbed that former Commissioner of CCP Elvis Gomes, former Commissioner of CCP didn’t make it. His knowledge and experience would have done wonders for a decaying Panaji.
Goans are very sad that Captain Viriato was unable to make it and sadly Mauvin Godinho polled 7,500 votes but Viriato gallantly fought in Dabolim to lose by a meagre margin.
—Stephen Dias, Dona Paula

THE Constitution of India provides citizens an opportunity to participate in governance by electing their representatives every five years. The People’s Representation Act, 1950 regulates the process of election so that it is a free and fair election. Elected representatives have responsibility to honour the mandate of the electorate. The Anti-Defection Act, 1985 is to curtail defections by elected representatives, whenever the mandate is flouted.
In the recent Goa State Assembly Elections 2022 there were more political parties and consequently more candidates, including independents as contestants. The exit polls spelt out a hung assembly and may be opened a floodgate of defections and horse-trading among winners. This situation sets a high possibility of luring candidates for obtaining the majority.
Unfortunately, civil society, in the past, remained indifferent to the blatant defections in Goa. The immoral behaviour of the electorate during campaigning could be the reason for the deafening silence towards such acts of defections. The mandate given by the electorate should be respected. In the context of a weak anti-defection law, civil society has to take active and dynamic responsibility, to ensure the mandate of the people through the ballot is respected.
Civil society expects the new government to ensure a just and integral development of the whole state, inclusive of all the constituencies. The new government should primarily devolve powers to the local governing bodies as per the 73rd and 74th Amendment of the Constitution. It should be open for better public scrutiny, safe guard environment and provide livelihood opportunities to the citizens which are of utmost importance. Protection of the Goan identity, preservation of the culture and promoting ecological balance, are the challenges before the new government to work with zeal.
—Abdul Vahind Khan, Janardan Tamhankar, Ad Albertina Almeida, Fr Savio Fernandes, Ramkrishna Jalmi and Fr Bolmax Pereira, Goa
THE Revolutionary Goans Party (RGP), AAP, TMC and a few Independents, should be held solely responsible for successfully splitting the secular votes in most constituencies in the recent assembly elections in the state — and for bringing the BJP back to power for the third consecutive time in a row in Goa.
The way the above mentioned parties come in to create havoc in most constituencies and splitting/eating the secular votes, it is at if they are unleashed by the BJP bosses from Delhi to selectively defeat the Congress party, and to somehow bring the BJP back to power — which they have successfully done by default.
The Congress party would have won more than 22 seats plus, if the party bosses had given tickets to the right candidates this time, and Congresswoudl have formed the next government on its own in Goa. It could easily won the seats of Taleigao, Navelim, Cortalim, Dabolim, Velim, Curchorem, Benaulim, Sanquelim, etc, but due to the presence of candidates of the above mentioned parties/split in secular votes had to be content with just 11 seats, due to which it will now have to sit in the Opposition in the Goa assembly.
I think at the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) President Girish Chodankar who was dancing around Diggu Kaka all this while, instead of giving his own silly excuses for the Congress debacle, should now immediately resign from his post.
—Jerry Fernandes, Saligao

WHAT’SAPP is awash with posts about the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and in the midst of this unfortunately our own people question as to why Indian students had to go to Ukraine for their higher studies. When students from developed countries like China go there why not ours? Let us not delve here into the fees structure and availability of medical seats in India. The concern now is that Indians blame our own students as if they were responsible to start the war and wisdom to get them back at government expenses. This is the least any government the world will do at a time of crisis, and ours is no different.  
Imagine the plight of the students who are still in the war zone and in the cross fire of two warring countries. Think of the parents here who have their hearts in their mouth on not knowing what is going with their child and vice-versa. The parents may not be able to eat, sleep and live routinely, day in and day out.
Ponder about the students who are fortunate enough to be back but not knowing what is in store for them in the future, loss of money, repayment of loans etc. Most importantly give a thought to the trauma that they suffered. It must be a nightmare for many even after they are safe home. Perhaps several students may require counselling and post-traumatic treatments to go back to their normal life.
Please refrain from belittling our students. Do not forward unknown and fake messages and do not add your own two pieces of wisdom. Try to empathise with their parents and sympathise with the students. Thank God that a child who is trapped in an alien country with no proper food, water and shelter and walking for kilometres to a neighbouring country and trying to be alive; is not your yours’ or of someone whom you know.   

— Sridhar D’Iyer,  Caranzalem, Goa 


  1. MGP will get the benefits from the BJP and after 4 years MGP will resign from the BJP and MGP will contest election against the BJP. MGP is doing this for the BJP in the last every election.

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