Mapusa : Aldona Congress MLA Adv Carlos Alvares Ferreira said that he is not in the race for the post of opposition leader, but is ready to shoulder any responsibility given by the party leadership.

“I am not in the race for leader of opposition, Some seasoned person must be chosen for this post. But if the party gives me any responsibility, I am ready to shoulder it. I will do justice to whatever role is given to me. However, if it is not given, I will not be unhappy because I am a first-time MLA,” he said.

Ferreira also said that he met Congress leader Rajani Patil, who has been tasked by the high command to assess the party’s performance in the Goa elections.

“I met her for half an hour, and expressed my views. I spoke on the leader of opposition and president of GPCC posts,” he said.

The delay in choosing the opposition leader should not be mixed with government formation, he said. “The leader of opposition will act during the assembly session. The leader of opposition cannot pass files and give approvals like a minister. Therefore, there is urgency to first form the government,” he said.

On the opposition’s role in the assembly, Ferreira said that being a first-timer, he will learn from seasoned leaders like Michael Lobo and Digambar Kamat.

“We will learn the ropes, and we won’t be far behind. We will be able to give good support to our leaders and take on the government whenever needed. I don’t want to stand up in the assembly, shout and make a drama and simply make opposition. It should be constructive opposition, for the good. If there are scams and frauds, we will definitely point it out. There are many issues which we will pick up and highlight, like the recruitment and tender scams, for which we will demand an inquiry. These are lined up and ready,” he said.

Ferreira also said that there is a need to discuss the proposals during a budget session. “These can be accepted or not, or even modified, but if it passed without this then the budget session becomes a mere formality,” he said.

To a question on party defections and rumours of opposition MLAs joining BJP, Ferreira sought to know whether the ruling party is not satisfied with its current strength of elected legislators.

“Are you not happy with the numbers you have? Are you on unsafe and uncertain ground that you need more people?” he said.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, an inspection of the Mapusa Tar River was conducted by the Aldona MLA in the presence of sarpanchs of Moira and Bastora and Mapusa Municipality chairperson, environmentalists and citizens along with officials of captain of ports and water resources department in order to initiate action to remove the water hyacinth infestation.

“It is of utmost importance for us to help save our rivers and water bodies: they are an integral part of our livelihoods as we draw water for agricultural purposes, and aquatic life as food. There’s over 200 tonnes of water hyacinth present currently in the
Mapusa Tar river and we need to resolve this issue at the earliest. We need to be mindful of the future generations that will benefit from it. If we don’t act now it will be too late,” he said,

“I request everyone to please stop polluting these water bodies, it will only result in destruction of ecology and environment and a greater task for us all to reverse,” he said.

The reason for the growth of water hyacinth is the decrease in salinity, the Congress MLA said.

“Citizens, environmental experts and others have come forward to help and together with the concerned authorities we intend to tackle this hands on. We have a few short-term and long-term plans which we will intend to commence quickly. We will take the help of the Navy. They are willing to come on board and help us. We are taking up this work on top priority as the panchayat elections are approaching and the code of conduct will hamper work,” he said.

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