Dispelling allegations of forgery as carried by some media reports and further confirming his stance that he did indeed travel to US around the same time as government officials on an invitation letter issued by Redefine Consulting and Redefine Vacations – the US tour operator hired by the empanelled agency MX Advertising contracted by the Department of Tourism, Government of Goa but did not misuse government funds on the trip and he travelled in his personal capacity; Vijai Sardesai has presented his receipt payment received from MX Advertising to GoaChronicle.com.
The receipt reflects the payment made against an invoice/bill raised to Vijai Sardesai of the amount Rs 5, 78,524 drawn on Saraswat Bank, Margao and cheque number details being 186649 dated April 3, 2011.
GoaChronicle.com expose ‘Tourism Dept spent Rs 1.35 crore on drinks, pole dancers and Disneyland’ shook the entire government machinery in particular the tourism department; some government officials have been working overtime to cover their tracks, as it was clearly indicated in the ‘Lies on the air travel plans’ and ‘Is there a forgery in play in Vijai Sardesai US Trip’ follow stories to the expose.
The question now however is that the Department of Tourism and Ministry of Tourism have faltered in their cover-up acts but will the government of Goa conduct an inquiry into the episode.
GoaChronicle.com founder and editor-in-chief, Savio Rodrigues, said, “I appreciate Vijai Sardesai’s clarification on the issue and his openness to reveal to us the truth on the happenings of the trip due to which there is a clear indication that the Department of Tourism and Ministry of Tourism is deliberately attempting to cover-up the episode that exposes their incompetency and misuse of government offices. Vijai Sardesai’s document also opens up a questioning into why they tourism department officials went to Las Vegas when there was no road show planned as per the Redefine Consulting and Redefine Vacations letter and what is the need for duplicity of the Director of Tourism letter featuring Rajesh Kale’s name; which according to Vijai was to be tabled in the House of the Assembly.”