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The Shiv Sena in Goa today criticised the state's governments plans to observe Opinion Poll Day on a large scale with the Sena claiming that one of the constituents of the government had supported Goa's merger with Maharashtra. Sena spokesperson Rakhi Prabhudesai Naik said that the government was politicising the day and was unmindful of the fact that Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP)supported the merger of Goa with Maharashtra. The MGP's move to merge Goa with the neighbouring state led to the holding of an opinion poll in 1967 in which the vast majority of Goans voted to keep Goa a separate entity. Attacking the Goa Forward Party which is holding a public rally in Margao to commemorate the occasion, Naik said the party's move "smelt of double standards". "While we completely agree with the GFP's demand that the history of Opinion Poll should be taught to students as a part of their school curriculum, its stand also smells of double-standards," she alleged. "If Goa Forward Party was really sensitive towards the ethos of Goans, and claim to be carrying the legacy of those who fought to keep Goa separate, they should first of all not be a part of any government that has Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party in it," she said. She asked the party to make it clear if their ideology was different from the MGP. Attacking the government, Naik said that it had no right to celebrate Opinion Poll Day as the government was all set "to sell pieces of Goa to New Delhi and neighbouring states for their political interests." The Sena said that Goas compromise on Mahadayi water sharing issue with Karnataka was an example of how Goa is being "sold to Karnataka at the behest of (BJP)leaders in Delhi." "River nationalisation is another example of how our rivers, and the people dependent on it, would be left at the mercy of the powers in Delhi," she added.
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