Even as the opposition parties have been targeting Chief Minister Pramod Sawant for prolonging the imposition of prohibitory orders in Goa, accusing him of clamping down on anti-government protests vis a vis the Mhadei inter-state water diversion issue, Mr Sawant on Wednesday said the prohibitory law would be lifted immediately after the 50th edition of the IFFI ends on Thursday.
"Section 144 was imposed ahead of the Ayodhya verdict in Goa. It will be lifted as soon as the International Film Festival of India is over," Mr Sawant told reporters on Thursday.
The prohibitory section was imposed on November 7 two days before the Supreme Court pronounced its verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title case.
During the inauguration ceremony of the festival on November 20, Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, who also holds charge of the Environment and Forests portfolio, was heckled by the Congress activists. The Congress has accused Javadekar of favouring Karnataka in the ongoing inter-state water dispute between the two states.
The Congress has warned Mr Sawant against sharing the dais with Mr Javadekar again during the closing ceremony of IFFI, a festival which is jointly organised by the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting and the Goa government's Entertainment Society of Goa, saying the central minister would have to "face the music" again, if he returns to the state for the event on November 28.