Priyank Kharge asked why the Lamanis were excluded from the BJP’s “Sab ka saat, sab ka vikaas”

Karnataka Tourism Minister slams Goa counterparts call for a ban on nomadic Lamani tribals Official twitter
news Politics Tuesday, April 04, 2017 - 20:03

Karnataka Tourism Minister Priyank Kharge hit out at his Goa counterpart Manohar Ajgaonkar for calling for a ban on Lamanis – a nomadic tribe mostly hailing from Karnataka – from entering Goa.

Ajgaonkar, who belongs to BJP ally Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), said in an interview with IANS on Monday, “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.”

Kharge accused Ajgaonkar of unfairly stereotyping an entire community. “First of all, he should have something substantial to say, that these people are indulging in drugs. Let them take action against whoever is indulging in such activities,” Kharge told The News Minute. He argued, “Crime is not limited to one community alone,” and questioned why the Lamanis were being singled out.

“My constituency (Chitapur, Gulbarga district) has a substantial number of Lamanis who migrate outside the constituency to eke out a living, but they definitely don't indulge in any kind of criminal activity,” Kharge said.

Kharge alleged that Ajgaonkar’s statement was coherent with the BJP's (and their allies’) way of doing politics.

 “If they really claim to be ‘Sab ka saat, sab ka vikaas’, then I have no idea why the Lamanis are out of that. Polarisation has always been their cup of tea and that's how their brand of politics is,” Kharge asserted.

He claimed that the central government’s development agenda is “gone”.

“Gujrat model of governance – where is that now? Make in India, Startup India – they are all mere lip service. I don't know where this is going,” the Minister from the Congress said.  

Speaking of the Lamanis, Kharge added, “These people have a strong cultural background. They have their own way of dressing, they have their own language. They bring in their own contribution to the society. And if a Minister makes such regressive comments instead of being inclusive, it's quite sad.”