The Bharatiya Janata Party government in Goa has declared May 10 as a paid holiday, which will also cover private establishments and industrial workers, in view of voting for the Assembly polls scheduled in neighbouring Karnataka.
However, the Pramod Sawant government's decision has not gone down well with Opposition parties and industry bodies.
Goa State Industries Association said they may have to take legal recourse against the holiday.
But, a senior official from Goa Chief Minister's Office said it is a practice to give a holiday when there are elections in neighbouring states. He claimed a holiday was declared in Karnataka on the day of polling in Goa last year.
The Goa government on Monday issued a notification declaring May 10 as paid holiday owing to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly elections. The holiday was extended to government servants and also those working in private establishments including industrial workers, it said.
Goa State Industries Association president Damodar Kochkar questioned the rationale behind the state government's "absurd" decision.
“Industries in Goa feel this is an absolutely absurd and stupid decision...taking industries to ransom for electoral gains,” Kochkar alleged and said they are considering legal remedies against such "unilateral" decisions of the state government.
Aam Aadmi Party's Goa unit president Amit Palekar also slammed the state government over the "foolish decision".
“After selling our mother Mhadei to Karnataka, the BJP-led Goa government is stooping down to a low level to please the neighbours,” he alleged in a video message.
The Goa Forward Party (GFP) also condemned the state government.
“@DrPramodPSawant's enthusiasm and swift decision-making wasn't evident when #Goans asked for a holiday for #RamaNavami. #Goemkars in #Goa obviously do not enjoy the same regard or respect as his friends in @BJP4Karnataka. For @goacm and @BJP4Goa it's Jai Shri @BSBommai,” GFP tweeted.
@DrPramodPSawant’s enthusiasm and swift decision making wasn’t evident when #Goans asked for a holiday for #RamaNavami. #Goemkars in #Goa obviously do not enjoy the same regard or respect as his friends in @BJP4Karnataka. For @goacm and @BJP4Goa it’s ‘Jai Shri @BSBommai!’ https://t.co/AGfq1JLy4B— Goa Forward (@Goaforwardparty) May 8, 2023
Goa and Karnataka are locked in a bitter feud over sharing of the Mhadei river water.