Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Monday dared the BJP-led Goa government to crack down on foreigners staying in the coastal state, instead of lashing out at domestic tourists, a section of whom was dubbed as the “scum of the earth” by a minister. Claiming that terrorism jeopardised job avenues in the tourism industry of Jammu and Kashmir, the Sena said Goa minister Vijai Sardesai’s remarks against the people of one region was “irresponsible”.
Last week, Goa’s agriculture minister Sardesai had described a section of domestic tourists as the “scum of the earth” and urged the state to look for “qualitative and not quantitative” improvement in tourists. Later, his cabinet colleague Manohar Ajgaonkar threatened to “chase away” visitors who don’t take care of “Goan culture and Goanness”.
Taking a dim view of it, the Sena said, in an editorial in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, a minister of the BJP-led Goa government has blamed North Indians for turning Goa into a “gutter”. But the state runs on tourism and it fails to keep a check on the law and order situation, the Sena said. “There are some areas in Goa where the local police do not dare to go, as they are dominated by Russians and Nigerians… We dare the Goa administration to go to those villages and take control of them,” it said.
In a jibe at Sardesai, it said though Goa had gone through an oppressive rule of the Portuguese for years, there are some ministers who prefer that regime as compared to the North Indians visiting the state. “What sort of nationalism is this?” the Sena asked. Referring to Jammu and Kashmir, it said jobs of taxi and auto-rickshaw operators and those running ‘shikaras’ in Dal lake, hotels and restaurants are affected due to terrorist activities.
In this backdrop, Sardesai’s statement against people of one region is “irresponsible,” the Sena said. It is the responsibility of the Goans to reject such statements of their ministers, it added.