Goa Opinion Poll
Dr Sequeira: A force to reckon with
Dr. Jack de Sequeira a gifted orator used his charisma to tilt the balance. He influenced the people with his fluent rhetoric, and managed to win people into the UGP fold, which subsequently led to the convincing victory of the UGP, which was ably led by him. Dr Sequeira left no stone unturned to ensure the victory of the majority people of Goa, Daman and Diu for a separate entity.
In fact just to exemplify Dr. Jack de Sequeira’s committed and selfless dedication to the cause, many senor citizens, who witnessed Dr Sequeira’s sacrifices for the cause, recall that when the State was under the merger threat, he (Dr. Sequeira) traveled extensively from Colaba to Kalyan in Bombay and with his winning personality took Bombay by storm, convincing Goans to support the cause of a separate State.
John Teotonio Pereira and his UGP colleagues were the main architects for promoting development works and generation of employment in Goa and staunchly supported the cause for Goa, Daman and Diu retaining its distinct identity,
Leading the Opposition
while the MGP, on the other hand, strived hard to merge Goa with Maharashtra from within the Legislative Assembly, where they enjoyed a majority of 16 MLAs to the 12 MLAs from the United Goans Party.
It was then, that Dr. Jack de Sequeira and his UGP members went to Delhi and impressed upon the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, for the need of an Opinion Poll, wherein the entire people of the Union Territory could exercise their right to self-determination, with regards to the contentious issue of whether to retain its separate identity or merge with Maharashtra.
Though the MGP enjoyed a majority of 16 MLAs in the Assembly, while the UGP had only 12 MLAs in the Legislative Assembly, the UGP had a larger share of the popular votes by virtue of winning with wider margins in the 12 constituencies from where they were elected.
Thus the popular mandate in Goa was in favour of maintaining a separate identity,
one reason being that cross voting might have taken place, in which MGP supporters voted during the Opinion Poll for Goa to remain as a separate entity. Goans at that time were living and working in various parts of the World, but the Centre did not allow postal ballot to enable the expatriates to exercise their choice for the self-determination of Goa.
The First UGP MLA's and Mr. Narcinva Naik - Vice President United Gaons