Panaji, Dec 17 : No true nationalists would ever oppose the President of India’s visit to Goa, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Thursday, two days ahead of Ram Nath Kovind’s official visit to the coastal state to inaugurate the 60th anniversary celebrations of Goa’s Liberation Day.
Sawant’s comments made at a press conference here came days after Vijai Sardesai, the President of opposition party Goa Forward, wrote to Kovind, urging him to cancel his Goa visit, accusing the state government of splurging money on celebrations at a time when the state treasury is facing a cash crunch on account of the Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic slowdown.
“This is the first time in the history of Goa that the President will be present for the Goa Liberation Day event. Those who are true nationalists and love Goa will never urge the President to not come to Goa. We have to welcome the President,” Sawant said.
“Those who are nationalists should not write such letters to the President of India. They should now write to the President again, urging him to come. We are people who love the country,” Sawant said.
On December 15, Sardesai in a letter to Kovind had said: “Spending Rs 100 crore for the function really doesn’t make any sense. We look to you to hold our plight, we look to you to hear our voice, and we look to you to be our representation. Therefore, we humbly request you to kindly turn down the government’s invite and avoid visiting the state on December 19.”
Sawant, however, said that Rs 100 crore has been earmarked for the year-long celebrations and not just for one event, saying the opposition has misunderstood the issue.
“Many believe that we are spending Rs 100 crore on a single event. This is not true. The amount is for celebrations throughout the year and for beautification and renovation of places linked to the freedom struggle and glory of Goa,” Sawant said.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.