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MoS Shripad Naik unhappy for not being taken in confidence for National Games

Panaji, Oct 29 (IANS) While the opposition parties in Goa have alleged corruption in the 37th National Games hosted by the coastal state, Union Minister of State for Tourism, Shripad Naik, has expressed unhappiness, stating that the Goa Olympic Association (GOA) was not taken into confidence for preparation.

Naik, who is chairman of GOA, was a Union Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and now in both the terms of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Congress criticised the BJP-led government in Goa for excluding Shripad Naik from Swayampurna Ferry (open decorated vehicle) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the inauguration of 37th National Games in Goa.

Prime Minister Modi had gone around the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium waving the crowd in an open decorated vehicle along with Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and BJP’s Goa unit President Sadanand Tanawade, who is also a Rajya Sabha MP.

Speaking to IANS, Naik said that he had no issues for not being given the opportunity to stand along with the Prime Minister on Swayampurna Ferry, but the government should have taken ‘GOA’ in confidence.

Naik added that he doesn’t feel that he has been sidelined, but as a chairman of GOA he was not taken into confidence during the preparation of the National Games.

“I had told Chief Minister Pramod Sawant that we can help them in various aspects. But we were not taken into confidence. They should have taken me in confidence as chairman of GOA, not as Shripad Naik. Our members were not even considered for the parade and were also not given passes. Later on they received it,” Naik said.

Sources informed that Naik, who is a five-time MP from North Goa, had expressed his unhappiness to party leaders in Delhi.

Seven months ago, political circles in Goa were abuzz whether Shripad Naik will be denied a ticket to contest the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. Naik had, however, termed the rumour mongers as ‘Duplicate Ticket Agents’.

Naik had admitted that there were efforts being made by certain persons to spoil his image and they are spreading such rumours.

“They will not succeed in their efforts. I am fit enough to contest and work for people for the next five years,” Naik had said, adding that he is not aware whether these persons are from the party or the opposition.

Naik’s relations with people are such that he is fondly called ‘Bhau’ (brother) across the state. He is the tallest leader of the Bhandari Samaj, which comprises 60 per cent population of the state.

“I don’t know whether this is being done purposely or by mistake. Even if it is by mistake then it can happen only once, it can’t repeat again and again. We had funded the renovation of Donapaula Jetty (in North Goa) from the ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme of the Tourism Ministry. I am MoS for Tourism and North Goa MP… and though I was present in Goa during the inauguration of the jetty, I was not invited,” Naik said.

“When the project is funded by the Central government, its representative should be invited. Many such incidents have taken place in the past, but as the government is of my party I didn’t speak about it. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant should see that such things don’t happen again. This is not good as it spoils the image of the government,” he said.

“The Chief Minister should see if someone is doing it purposely and should take care that it should not happen again,” he added.

After the inauguration of the National Games, people from Bhandari Samaj criticised the government for allegedly sidelining Shripad Naik.

The Congress on Saturday alleged that corruption has also taken place in display boards and advertisements of National Games and they will audit it.



Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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