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MLAs to pay for Brazil trip

Panaji, June 13 (PTI): Goa’s BJP government today withdrew its decision to sponsor a Rs 89-lakh Brazil trip by six legislators, including three ministers, to watch the World Cup.

Five of the legislators, however, announced they would still be making the journey, paying out of their own pockets. State sports minister Ramesh Tawadkar said he would not go.

The Congress, which had accused the state government of “wasteful expenditure”, has alleged that corporate houses would now fund the MLAs’ trip, calling it a “bribe”. Tawadkar denied any “corporate sponsorship”.

“The government has withdrawn the order. We have done this bowing to public sentiments,” the sports minister said.

“We were scheduled to visit Brazil because Goa will be hosting the National Games and has also bid for the under-17 football World Cup. We had decided to see the infrastructure because of which the government had approved the trip.”

He added: “Since the government has cancelled the trip, I will no more be heading the delegation. I will not be going.”

The Congress insisted that the government make public the noting on the file that says the trip stood cancelled.

“We want the noting to be made public. Till that time we will not be satisfied as the Manohar Parrikar government has a habit of taking U-turns,” Goa Congress spokesperson Durgadas Kamat said.