Goa Opinion Poll
Dr. Jack de Sequeira: Shaping The Outcome Of The Opinion Poll Verdict
Fate had it, that the UGP which was then in Opposition, emerged victors and the latter was vanquished, paving the way for Goa being declared a State, which today would not have been possible, had not Dr. Jack de Sequeira and his United Goans Party MLAs and the people at large voted decisively for Goa, Daman and Diu to become a separate union territory.
Dr. Jack de Sequeira’s son Erasmo Sequeira also played a pivotal role in the run up to the opinion poll and deserves mention for his efforts to fight for the cause of the Goans as the then Member of Parliament, representing Goa in New Delhi.
Though the party symbols for the UGP and the MGP were Hand and Lion respectively, the UGP (anti-merger) adopted the symbol of Two Leaves while the MGP (pro-merger) adopted the symbol of a Flower for the opinion poll.
After liberation, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India visited Goa and promised the people of the Union Territory that elections would be conducted in the region and that he favoured granting self–determination to the people of Goa, Daman and Diu.
After Nehru promised elections in Goa, leaders from neighbouring Maharashtra visited Goa and contacted Dayanand Bahusaheb Bandodkar and others to form the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party in Goa. The other political party in Goa was the Congress party with a Cow and its Calf as its election symbol.
Bandodkar being a mine owner was financially sound. The MGP manifesto promised to make Marathi the language of Goans and to promote this cause, several Marathi schools were started in Goa to popularize Marathi. The other agenda or rather the motive behind the formation of the MGP was to merge Goa with Maharashtra.
Y. B. Chavan, Vasantrao Naik and other leaders from Maharashra visited Goa in order to set the foundation for the formation of MGP, which was to become the proponent of merger of Goa with Maharashtra.