Panjim: Reacting to the claims of corruption and wastage of government funds for personal benefits, Goa Deputy Chief Minister Manohar Azgaonkar accused Congress state unit of levelling baseless allegations against him and dared them to prove the allegations.
In a statement to the media, Azgaonkar said, “Congress had a tradition of taking their kith and kin on foreign tours at the cost of government money and that may be the reason why Congress President Girish Chodankar must have felt that others do the same and hence had made baseless allegations against him.”
Azgaonkar, who also holds tourism portfolio, said, “I have tried my best to give a boost to development of basic infrastructure needed at various tourist locations in Goa through Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Modi Government with a budget of 200 crores. Most of the tourist locations are being beautified with parking, illumination, toilets, changing rooms etc. ”
Stating that the work of Toursim Master Plan and Tourism Policy was in final stage and would notified soon, he said, “I am working hard for making Goa worlds’ number one tourist destination and my vision is to promote Goa with its Goemkarpon identity. ”
“All my official foreign tours are undertaken only after obtaining prior approvals and permissions from all concerned authorities. I always insist on maintaining total transparency in my departments. My family members have taken care of their tour expenditure individually and government has not spent anything on their expenses. Those who seek any clarifications can file RTI and get all information,” he claimed.
The Deputy Chief Minister also urged tourism stakeholders to refrain from criticism and work hard to bring discipline in tourism business in Goa and make Goa a tourist friendly destination.
Goa Congress President Girish Chodankar had on Tuesday alleged that Azgaonkar was wasting money from the state exchequer on international jaunts with family.
“The same minister had gone on a ‘tourism promotion’ trip to the US with his family last year. And now he is doing the same with a trip to the UAE. It is a shame that he has not learnt any lessons despite criticism about his last trip to the US,” Chodankar had alleged.