The Goa government will celebrate a Christmas holiday and not ‘Good Governance Day’ as mandated by the National Democratic Alliance government for Dec 25, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said on Wednesday.
Parsekar said Goa had a unique synergy between Hindus and Christians and it was not possible to observe Good Governance Day and keep government offices open on Christmas day.
“We have informed high command that we will be unable to observe Good Governance Day on Dec 25. But we will do it (conduct programmes as per the central government initiative) before and after that day,” Parsekar said.
The chief minister said Goa had a long tradition of “Christians visiting Hindu homes on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi and Hindus visiting Christian homes on Christmas”, because of which a holiday is essential.
The BJP government at the Centre has called for a nationwide initiative to promote Dec 25 as Good Governance Day. It also happens to be former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s birthday.
As part of the initiative, ministers as well as bureaucrats are expected to attend office even if for a few hours, even as the central government is expected to work out an agenda to be followed on the day.
The initiative has, however, resulted in a lot of opposition, especially from minority organisations, which have accused the BJP-led coalition government of trying to hurt the sentiments of Christians who celebrate Christmas Dec 25.