NEW DELHI: Political parties that opposed simultaneous polls before the Law Commission mostly cited
federalism, Constitution and impracticability for their opposition, but Goa Forward Party chose
coconuts to drive home its point against the proposal of ‘One Nation, One Election’.
The regional party that is part of the BJP-led Goa government cited coconut, its party symbol, to argue
that regional issues will go unaddressed in the noise of simultaneous polls.
The commission held talks with political parties on the proposal of simultaneous elections on July 7
To buttress its reasoning, Goa Forward Party representative cited the party’s history and struggle in
protesting against cutting down of coconut trees in Goa before it came to power with ally BJP in March
The party had protested against the previous Laxmikant Parsekarled BJP government’s decision to amend
rules to simplify the procedure of cutting down coconut trees by removing it from the list of trees,
the representative told commission officials.
This was allegedly done to pave way for real estate and industrial development at the expense of
environment, the party representative said and cited an example of the former state government
receiving a request to cut down around 800 coconut trees to set up an industry. The law panel was
further told that five months after their party became part of the government, coconut palm was
declared a “state tree” by the cabinet in August 2017.
The commission recorded objections raised by the party, which argued that introduction of simultaneous
elections will adversely affect regional parties, and prevent regional issues from being raised and
addressed in the run-up to elections.
Launched in January 2016, Goa Forward Party’s motto is ‘Goem, Goemkar, Goemkarponn’, or Goa, Goans and