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Azgaonkar, Sopte trade charges on Morjim carnival

Porvorim: Tourism Minister Manohar Azgaonkar and Congress MLA Dayanand Sopte entered into a war of words after the former accused the opposition MLA of opposing the Carnival parade in the coastal belt of Morjim in Pernem taluka. The MLA shot back saying that he was not consulted in the planning process, despite being the local representative.The arguments took place during Question Hour, when the Minister said the government wants to encourage carnival in a bid to promote culture and tourism, irrespective of the opposition from a cross section of the people. He assured to consider holding beach carnival parades in future.
“Carnival is not of any political party or of any religion. It is a traditional event and government is committed to promote it,” the Minister said, adding, “Efforts were made to stop the carnival parade at Morjim by the Congress MLA Dayanand Sopte.” He also said, “Our government does not believe in dividing people.”The allegation, however, did not go down well with Mandrem MLA Sopte, who countered stating that despite being the local MLA, he was not taken into consideration while planning the event.“When you are trying to enter my house (constituency), you need to take my permission or at least consult me. Here, I was not consulted at all nor was I invited for the carnival,” he said.However, the Minister interrupted the MLA and told the House that the MLA was invited for the meetings and for the carnival celebration. “But the MLA did not turn up on any of the occasions,” Azgaonkar said. Speaker Dr Pramod Sawant then intervened and ended the discussion.Earlier, Congress MLA Francis Silveira demanded that the government consider holding beach carnival to promote tourism. [H]

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