Goa assembly adjourned five times over formalin row

The Goa Assembly was adjourned five times on Thursday following protests by the Opposition Congress over dangerous chemical formalin being used to preserve fish sold in the state. Congress legislators repeatedly disrupted the proceedings, with some of them stepping into the well of the House demanding a detailed discussion on the controversy.

After four disruptions in about three hours, Speaker Pramod Sawant adjourned the assembly till Friday, while disallowing the Opposition’s plea to discuss the formalin controversy. The state government on Wednesday imposed a 15-day ban on fish being brought to the state from neighbouring states.

The government move came after Food and Drug Administration officials claimed last week that formalin, a powerful disinfectant used to preserve cadavers, was used to preserve fish.

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“All 16 (Congress) MLAs have signed a motion of adjournment. This formalin issue should be discussed first, not at the time of calling attention motion,” Congress MLA Chandrakant Kavlekar told the assembly, as he along with his party colleagues rushed into the well of House raising slogans against the government.

“The fish mafia is killing Goans. They are merchants of greed, evil and horror. This is a burning issue. All other issues can wait,” Kavlekar said. “These merchants of horror are supported by this party, yesterday by our party, and tomorrow they will be with some other party,” former Chief Minister and Congress MLA Luizinho Faleiro said.

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Sawant, however, said that since two calling attention motions had been moved by both Congress and BJP MLAs over the same controversy, the issue could be discussed later. The Chief Minister is expected to make a statement on the controversy on Monday.


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