‘Minister’s comments against Lamanis a mistake’

first_imgPanaji: The deputy speaker of the Goa legislative Assembly and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Calangute, Michael Lobo, on Tuesday apologised for Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar’s comments against Lamanis, a nomadic tribal community, last week.Speaking to reporters, Mr. Lobo said Mr. Ajgaonkar had erred in making a statement that demanded banning Lamanis from Goa.He said, “I apologise on behalf of the party and the coalition parties in the BJP-led government. The Minister must consider apologising. It is up to him.”Mr. Ajgaonkar, who belongs to the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, a regional outfit, had said, “Outsiders who can uphold Goenkarponn [Goanness] should be allowed to stay, the rest should be ousted. Goa’s culture should be retained. Beggars and Lamanis should be stopped [from coming to the State]. A wrong message is sent because of them and the reputation of Goans is spoilt.”Lamanis, known for their colourful attire, are migrants from Karnataka and other southern States. They are predominantly involved in the seasonal tourism trade, and are usually seen selling trinkets, balloons, toys, and handmade clothes, on beaches.Mr. Lobo said while there is a need to control hawkers on popular beaches in the State, there was no reason for Mr. Ajgaonkar’s comments against the Lamani community. “I have already spoken to Mr. Ajgaonkar and told him that there was a mistake on his part. What he wanted to say was hawkers, but he said Lamanis instead.” The Tourism Minister’s comments had drawn criticism from Goa’s Lamani community, and from politicians in Karnataka.The North Goa police have said they neither have and nor would target any community in the State.last_img

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