Teotonio Pereira, Goa 1st Assembly MP, dies aged 91 | Goa News
He was also a prominent figure in Goan language agitations in the 1980s seeking official language status for Konkani.
Pereira died due to age-related health issues.
“Saddened by the passing of former MPP Shri #TeotonioPereira. My deepest condolences to the family,” Chief Minister Pramod Sawant tweeted.
Pereira ran a transport company. Originally from Goa Velha, he had resided in Mapusa for many years now.
When Pereira contested the first Goa assembly elections in 1963 in St Andre’s constituency on the United Goans Party (UGP) ticket, he defeated the MGP’s chief ministerial candidate, Vishwanath Lawande.
The loss of Lawande led to Dayanand Bandodkar being sworn in as Goa’s first CM. Therefore, Pereira’s victory in some ways changed the course of the state’s history.
When Bandodkar suggested that Goa could be merged with Maharashtra, Pereira was among the group that opposed it and demanded a referendum. This opposition eventually led to the holding of the opinion poll, which stopped the Goa merger.
Opposition leader Digambar Kamat also expressed his condolences over Pereira’s passing. “My condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace,” he said.
“AN ERA IS ENDING. The passing of #TeotonioPereira, Member of the 1st Legislative Assembly of #Goa brings deep sadness. He fought for #Goa and his honour; its identity, culture and language,” tweeted Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai.
Pereira was elected deputy on the 1963, 1967 and 1972 UGP ticket. In 1980, he won on the Congrès de St André ticket.
Even at an advanced age, Pereira made it a point to attend the Goa legislators day event at the Goa assembly every year.
“I deeply mourn the sad passing of our neighbor and friend Teotonio John Pereira. He was a multifaceted person, deeply rooted in the soil of Goa. He was a singer, songwriter and entertainer and above all a beautiful human being. Although we belonged to two different political parties which were in opposition, our friendship was so deep that he invited me to hold my wedding reception on the roof of his newly built house in 1977. May his social and political life inspire generations of Goans,” said former Union Justice Minister and former MP CM Ramakant Khalap.