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Goans’ dual citizenship row: Will go by the Constitution, says MGP

In the wake of the dual citizenship row in Goa, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) on Friday said that its stand on the issue would be in line with the Indian Constitution.

india Updated: Jun 03, 2016 18:48 IST
Goa chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar had on Thursday said that permitting dual citizenship was impossible.
Goa chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar had on Thursday said that permitting dual citizenship was impossible.(Rakesh Mundye/HT file)

In the wake of the dual citizenship row in Goa, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) on Friday said that its stand on the issue would be in line with the Indian Constitution.

“Does Constitution of India allow dual citizenship ? We will go by what the constitution says,” MGP president, Dipak Dhavalikar, told reporters here.

Goa chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar had on Thursday said that permitting dual citizenship was impossible.

“I appeal people not to opt for dual citizenship as it will not be allowed,” he said.

Read: Goans with ‘dual citizenship’ will now have to make a choice: CM

The CM said that people whose birth is registered in Portugal as they were born before the state was liberated from Portuguese rule, need not worry as they won’t be dubbed as a dual citizen.

“My heart pains when I see people standing in front of Portuguese Consulate in Goa to apply for their passport,” Parsekar has said.

Union minister of state for home, Kiren Rijiju had recently stated that the central government will soon notify an authority in Goa to decide the contentious issue of dual citizenship concerning scores of Goans.

A large number of Goans, especially those born before 1961, are facing legal hurdles given that their birth was registered under the Portuguese rule in the coastal state, according them the status of Portuguese nationals.

However, a few months after the liberation of Goa, the then central government through a notification under the Citizenship Act 1955 automatically accorded Indian citizenship to every person who or either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents was born before December 20, 1961, in Goa, Daman and Diu, which were also Portuguese colonies.