On Independence Day it is the Chief Minister of every State who hoists the National Flag at the capital city. In his absence it would have to be only by the next Senior most Cabinet Minister or a Minister designated by the Chief Minister.

As Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar will be away this Independence day in New York for his cancer treatment, he has reportedly decided to illegally and very high-handedly assign the hoisting of the Flag to Speaker Pramod Sawant. It is incomprehensible as to how the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly can assume the role and responsibility of the Chief Minister.

Until 1973 it was the Governor of the State that hoisted the National Flag on Independence Day at the State Capital. But in February 1974, the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M.Karunanidhi successfully took up the issue with then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi that the Chief Minister should be allowed to hoist National flag on Independence Day.  Since then it has been always the Chief Minister of the State who has been hoisting the Flag at the State level function. With this established norm and protocol set to go for a toss this time, it will be for the first time in the history of our country that the Speaker replaces the Chief Minister in hoisting the flag at the State function.   All this can only happen in Goa!

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