Goa minister tones down regionalistic rhetoric

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Panaji, Feb 12 (IANS) Toning down his rhetoric against north Indians and Haryana in particular, Goa’s Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai on Monday said that “Haryana also has some good people”, naming Gurugram-based Shiv Yog foundation Chairman Avdhoot Shivanand as one of them.

“Haryana also has good people and we have reached out to them. I am saying this because media needs something or the other. We are reaching out to good people and the government is willing to work with the Shiv Yog Foundation,” Sardesai said at an official function here.

“These days one hears about Haryana. I had gone to Gurugram to meet Shiv Yog foundation Chairman Avdhoot Shivanand. He speaks of cosmic farming. He says that particular type of farming (attracts) celestial sounds and it should be promoted. He has a doctorate from the Berkeley University. There is some basis to it,” Sardesai said, adding that Goa will be promoted as a brand for agriculture and organic farming.

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Sardesai had stoked a controversy last week by denigrating the credentials of tourists visiting Goa and accusing north Indians of trying to convert Goa into another Harayana.

“Your Chief Minister is pushing to increase tourists coming into Goa. Today, we have got almost six times population of Goa coming as tourists. Those tourists are not the top-end tourists, they are also the scum of the earth,” Sardesai had said.

“And now, we are dependent upon the north Indians and this is what they do. They are not bothered about Goa. They would like to recreate a Haryana in Goa,” Sardesai had also said, while referring to the 6.5 million domestic tourists visiting Goa every year, as “scum of the earth”.

He had later said that he had only referred to a section of the inbound tourists as scum.

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–IANS

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