Joao Hugo Eduardo de Sequeira popularly known as Dr Jack de Sequeira also know as Jack Siker according to local naming conventions was a prominent political figure in Goa.He is polularly known as the father of opinion poll in the true sense as he laid the foundation of Goa’s independent statehood.It was only because of his efforts that Goa got statehood on 30th May 1987.
Dr. Jack Sequeira was the founder president of the United Goan Party. He played a pivotal role in convincing the Government of India to hold an opinion poll to decide against the issue of the merger of Goa into the state of Maharashtra.Goa was annexed into India by an Indian Army operation on 09 th December 1961. Later it was integrate into the Indian Union in 1962. Goa’s first poll was held on 09th Dec 1963.
The 2 main parties UGP and MGP was formed with 2 opposing idiologies.The MGP wanted to merge the state of Goa with the newly formed state of Maharashtra whereas the UGP wanted to retain the independent statehood of Goa .The United Goan Party (UGP) wa formed in 1962-63 and Dr Sequeira was its founder member.When Goa Daman & Diu was formed MGP formed the government and Dayanand Bandodkar of MGP became the first Chief Minister.At the time when Goa was merged into India Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had promised that Goa will retain its distinct identity.However following the victory of MGP the leader of MGP including Dayanand Bandodkar showed inclination for a merger. However before any decision could be taken Jawaharlal Nehru passed away and Lal Bahadur Shashtri took over.
Dr. Sequeira along with the other members, went to Bangalore where the AICC session was to be held and met Mr. Shastri.They not only opposed the merger but convinced Mr Shastri the need to put up the question before the people of Goa themselves.Dr. Sequeira impressed upon them that if Maharashtra managed to convince the centre to merge with Maharashtra it would only bolster their case for Karwar and Supa. However Shashtri died in Tashkent in 1966 and now the decision was again left to Mrs Indira Gandhi.
Once again Dr. Sequeira managed ro submit a memorandum that such a decision would adversely affect the future of the state and could not be left only to the legislators ro decide but should be kept before the people of Goa to decide.Parliament finally agreed to conduct a referendum by means of a secret ballot.
Now that the referendum would be conducted Dr Sequeira feared that Dayanand Bandodkar may use the states administrative machinary against independent statehood.The UGP demanded the MGP government to resign so that the referendum could be conducted in a fair and free manner.
On 03rd December 1966 the MGP government resigned.The opinion poll was held on 16th January 1967 and the merger was defeated.Hence if not for Dr Jack Sequeira’s efforts Goa would not have seen the lifgt of being an independent state today.
This is the sole reason why we call Dr Jack Sequeira as the Father of Opunion Poll in Goa.