Under attack from the Congress over the Brazil junket of the six BJP state legislators, the Goa government on Friday cancelled their proposed government-funded trip to Brazil to watch the football World Cup. However, the state government said that the MLAs are free to visit Brazil if they are ready to fund their own trip. The Brazil ‘study’ tour of the six MLAs sparked a row after it became public that the state sports department had sanctioned Rs 89 lakh for the tour and the Congress terming as a “wasteful expenditure” and had even sought PM Narendra Modi’s intervention. The six Goa state legislators today said that they don’t want to spend money from the state exchequer and instead bear the expenses of the proposed Brazil visit from their pocket.
The ministers included Ramesh Tawadkar (Sports), Avertano Furtado (Fisheries), Milind Naik (Power), Benjamin Silva (Independent), Glen Ticlo and Carlose Almeida (both BJP). The Parrikar government was caught on the backfoot after the Opposition came down heavily on the state government’s decision in which the MLAs were scheduled to leave for Brazil on July 1 to watch the quarter-finals and the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup.
Despite the uproar, Parrikar had yesterday strongly defended the tour, terming it an “investment” by the government which has declared football as Goa’s official sport.