Reacting strongly to the Goa government’s decision to evict Lamanis from the neighbouring state, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has expressed his objection.
An irked Siddaramaiah has sought action against the Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar for making remarks against the nomadic community belonging to Karnataka.
Ajgaonkar had, on April 4, said that Lamanis, members of a nomadic tribe mostly hailing from Karnataka, should be banned from entering Goa because they besmirch the reputation of Goa and don't fit in the coastal state's culture.
"Outsiders who can uphold 'Goenkarponn' (Goanness) should be allowed to stay, the rest should be chased away. Goa's culture and 'Goenkarponn' should be retained. These Lamani's should be stopped (from coming to Goa). A wrong message is sent because of them and the reputation of Goans is spoilt. This has to be done," Ajgaonkar said, adding that his ministry would take action against Lamanis involved in illegal businesses.
This statement has not gone down well with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who has written a letter to his Goa counterpart, Manohar Parrikar, stating that Ajgaonkar’s statement had created fear among Lamanis, who have been living in Goa for generations.
“The have imbibed the language and culture of Goa for generations. I request you to ask the minister concerned to exercise restraint on such utterances,” Siddaramaiah’s letter reads.
“You will agree that our Indian culture calls for living in unity amidst diversity. With this view, I shall appreciate if any positive action is taken against the minister concerned,” it adds.
Siddaramaiah, in his letter, has also offered to send a delegation led by industries minister R V Deshpande to look into the issue.
Earlier, Karnataka Tourism Minister Priyank M Kharge had lashed out at Ajgaonkar’s remark and said, “Why single out Lambanis, why not Russians? Crime is not limited to one community or country. It's unfortunate that a minister has issued an irresponsible statement targeting one particular community. It's strange that the BJP is happy with foreigners but doesn't want Indians.”