Will Chase Tourists Away if They Don't Regard Goan Culture, Threatens Minister

Goa tourism

Palolem beach in Southern Goa

Goa Town and Country Planning (TCP) Minister Vijay Sardessai Friday had stoked controversy by reportedly saying that domestic tourists visiting the state were "scum of the earth". If you compare Goans to rest of India, we are high in per capita income, social and political consciousness, we are much superior than people who are coming in.

The unruly behaviour of the North Indian tourists is not possible to control, claimed Sardesai, who heads the Goa Forward Party (GFP) - an ally of the ruling BJP.

"Goa should become so expensive for the tourists that they should say "I should not come to Goa". Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar said that tourists who don't respect the Goan culture and the spirit of "Goanness" will no longer be welcome in the coastal state. And, now we are dependent upon the north Indians and this is what they do. "The domestic tourists are not the top-end tourists, but the scum of the earth", he had said. Are they responsible? They are not.

Goa, with a population of almost 1.6 million, attracts more than six million tourists annually. "So what I am speaking for, I am speaking for Goa", Sardesai said, in a fresh video released to the media on Saturday. And they are the ones who are creating the maximum garbage and maximum nuisance in Goa, " he said.

Calling domestic tourists "scum of the earth", Sardesai attributed the success of master-plan for Goa tourism to foreign and upper-class Indian tourists as the state was "superior" than the rest of India.

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"Also, look those who come from Delhi, Haryana and Gurgaon, they have a tendency, they want to gobble everything".

The minister further marked his apprehension against the vast swathes of land being bought by North Indians in the state, claiming that they want to create "another Haryana in Goa". We In Goa have a certain way of living.

"We are fighting another kind of battle where these FSI people are coming and affecting our ethos", he added.

The Congress in Goa on Sunday accused the state government of trying to harass the middle class people in Goa, through their controversial statements, to benefit a few people in the creamy layer in the tourism industry. "I haven't generalised or have been xenophobic".

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