Panaji:Â The Goa government is facing the flake for its junket for six MLAs, including the sports minister, to visit Brazil, where the tournament is being held.Â
The Goa Congress has alleged that BJP government in the state is misusing public finds to sanction the trip and wants it scrapped. The trip, alleged Congress’ Durgadas Kamat, is in direct contravention of Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s directive that funds must not be misused.
But sources in the Goa government argued that the trip is justified. They called it a “study tour” for politicians of a state that regularly holds sporting events and said chief minister Manohar Parrikar had no objection to it. The sources also pointed out that no bureaucrats were being sent. Only politicians who “bring the vision.”
None of the people in the Goa delegation are soccer experts or even members of the sports authority of the state.Â Apart from Goa sports minister Ramesh Tawadkar, two other ministers and three MLAs have been given the go-ahead for the Brazil trip, to watch matches to be held at the end of this month.
Soccer is a popular sport in the tiny southern state, which has given India some of its leading national soccer stars. A newspaper report said Goa’s two Arjuna award winning footballers, Brahmanand Shankhwalkar and Bruno Coutinho, had both expressed a desire to visit Brazil for the tournament. But they have not been included in the Goan delegation.Â