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Will chase away tourists who don’t respect Goan culture: Tourism Minister

IANS | Panaji |

A day after Goa Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai called the 6.5 million domestic tourists arriving in Goa as “scum of the earth”, on Saturday a video surfaced that shows Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar threatening to chase away tourists who do not regard Goan culture.

Ajgaonkar is seen speaking at the inauguration of the Goa Food and Cultural Festival in Panaji on Friday, where he says that those tourists who do not respect Goan culture and the spirit of “Goanness” will no longer be welcome.

“The tourists who come here should take care of Goa’s culture and Goanness, otherwise I will chase them away. I will not listen to anyone. I am saying this clearly,” Ajgaonkar said.

“We have to preserve our Goan culture and Goanness. We do not want tourists who sell drugs, we do not want hotels which sell drugs,” he added.

On Friday, Sardesai had also denigrated the character of tourists coming to Goa during a speech at the Goa Biz Fest, near Panaji.

“…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 said.

An unapologetic Sardesai on Saturday, however, claimed that his speech was taken out of context and that it was a section of the 6.5 million tourists population, who were scum on the earth.