The legislative assembly on Monday paid glowing tributes to former legislator Kashinath Jhalmi, who expired on Sunday, often referring to him as a doctor of law. The House also condoled the recent death of freedom fighter Gajanan Ramchandra Neugi.
The condolence motion for Jhalmi was moved by transport minister Ramkrishna Dhavalikar, while the motion for Neugi was moved by Bicholim MLA Naresh Sawal.
Chief minister Manohar Parrikar said that he had an opportunity to work alongside Jhalmi when the latter was opposition leader in the legislative assembly. Parrikar said it was from Jhalmi that he learnt the lesson never to speak without studying the matter in depth.
He said the three things he had learnt from Jhalmi were how to corner the government on the floor of the House, to study the rule book and to study an issue before raising in the assembly.
He said that Jhalmi worked tirelessly, even sometimes neglecting his health, and though Jhalmi attained a great position, he never forgot his humble roots.
Parrikar said if Jhalmi was in the House today, he would have been ten times more popular because of live coverage by TV channels, which was lacking then. “His death is a loss to Goa and to the Goa legislative assembly,” the chief minister said.
Opposition leader Pratapsingh Rane also praised Jhalmi saying that he was a studious member of the Goa legislative assembly for three terms. Rane said that Jhalmi raised many pertinent points in the legislative assembly and that Goa will miss him much.
Rane also condoled the death of Gajanan Neugi saying that he sacrificed much of his life in fighting for freedom “so that we could live in freedom in our country”.
Dabolim Congress MLA Mauvin Godinho praised Jhalmi for studying issues in fine detail, while industries minister Mahadev Naik recalled his contributions to Goa, including his contribution during the language agitation.
If the government takes the initiative to declare Schedule Tribe (ST) status to Dhangar community, it would be a fitting tribute to Jhalmi, MLAs speaking on the condolence motion said.
St Andre MLA Vishnu Surya Wagh said that Jhalmi had a dream to bring the entire Bhaujan Samaj together. He also said that Jhalmi has fought to get ST status for Kunbi, Velip, Dhangar and Gawda communities, but unfortunately the Dhangar community was not conferred ST status. “If we have to pay tribute to Jhalmi, then Dhangars should be given ST status,” said Wagh.
Quepem MLA Chandrakant ‘Babu’ Kavlekar said that Register General of India has raised some queries on the report submitted by the government to declare ST status to the Dhangar community. “The government should immediately clarify the queries so that Jhalmi’s dream to get ST status to Dhangar community is fulfilled,” said Kavlekar.
Cumbharjua MLA Pandurang Madkaikar said that Jhalmi was the leader of masses and he had the stature of Babasaheb Ambedkar in the ST community.