PA system fails PM in Goa

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had to face embarrassment at the Congress rally at Sanquelim, North Goa on Wednesday that rounded off the party’s campaign in the election to the State Assembly.

The prime minister was brought to the venue by helicopter at around 4 pm. But just as he began his speech after Chief Minister Kamat, the public address system failed. It took more than half an hour for Congress managers to restore the system. Facing a crowd of over 5,000, the prime minister sat patiently through till the system was restored.

Much is at stake for the party in five constituencies of North Goa where Speaker Pratapsingh Rane and his son Vishwajit have a strong hold.

In the backdrop of the flak the Digambar Kamat government received over mining, Singh said the Congress would ensure Goa’s environment would be protected. “There is a lot of concern for the environment all over the country today. We recognise the need for development, but this should not be at the cost of the environment. We will ensure there is a balance between the two to protect the environment,” he said.

Singh also assured Goans that Dabolim airport would continue to operate even after the new international airport at Mopa is constructed. “I am happy that Goa will get an airport of international standards when Mopa comes up. A decision was taken not to shut down Dabolim and work is on for the airport’s renovation,” he said.

Manmohan Singh said the Centre was upgrading tourism infrastructure in Goa and it would also address the concerns of the fishing community over the CRZ.

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