Empty seats greet president at Goa civic reception

Panaji, Nov 23 (Inditop.com) President Pratibha Patil’s civic reception hosted by the state government and local self government bodies on Monday drew a lukewarm response, with a large number of empty seats in the 500-odd seater auditorium of the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO).

While advertisements released in all newspapers by the state government had invited all MLAs, ex-MLAs, government officials and members of all local self government bodies like panchayats, and zilla panchayats, very few of them turned up at the event.

Only four of the 12 cabinet ministers (including the chief minister) were present for the reception. Only one ruling party MLA Victoria Fernandes was present.

No opposition MLA was present at the civic reception. BJP state unit president Govind Parvatkar said the state government had messed up the event.

“We are the only opposition party in the state legislative assembly. None of our MLAs were invited. Our state party president Shripad Naik is a member of parliament who represents 20 assembly segments and yet he was given only one pass,” Parvatkar said.

“The government is trying to keep the opposition members away from such programmes,” Parvatkar charged.

Patil is on a four day visit to Goa. Patil will be the chief guest at the convocation ceremony Tuesday at Goa University, where she will be awarded an honorary doctorate.