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Goa CM's praise of Sindhudurg's tourism potential sparks row

Last Updated : 15 February 2021, 13:04 IST

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Chief Minister Pramod Sawant's recent praise of the tourism potential of Maharashtra's coastal border district of Sindhudurg has stirred controversy in Goa, with the opposition questioning his resolve and commitment to the state he rules.

Days after Sawant's comments made at a fish festival in Sindhudurg district on Friday, went viral, Opposition parties in the coastal state have slammed Sawant for tapping the upcoming Mopa international airport in North Goa, located close to the Goa-Maharashtra border, for promotion of tourism in the neighbouring state.

"It seems that the idea behind seizing of farmlands from Goan farmers and mass displacement of poor Goans for MOPA is to develop tourism in Sindhudurg!" former Deputy Chief Minister and Goa Forward party MLA Vijai Sardesai has said.

On Friday, Sawant while addressing the event in Maharashtra had said, "Tourism will really blossom in Sindhudurg, especially when Mopa international airport is commissioned in August 2022. Goa will reap benefits, but so will Sindhudurg."

In his controversial speech, the Chief Minister had also lauded the contribution made by the people of Sindhudurg district towards the liberation of Goa from Portuguese rule in 1961.

Since becoming Chief Minister, Sawant has had to bear the brunt of an orchestrated Opposition campaign, which had questioned his Goan lineage and had questioned the purchase of large tracts of land in Maharashtra's Sindhudurg district.

When the campaign was at its peak, Sawant in December last year was forced to clarify that he was born in Goa and was not of Maharashtrian origin. Sawant had also said that the purchase of land in Sindhudurg was legitimate, made through bank transactions.

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Published 15 February 2021, 13:04 IST

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