29 Apr 2021  |   06:22am IST

Goans fume at dancing Deputy CM, even as neta says he did no wrong

The Deputy CM and Tourism Minister Babu Ajgaonkar was seen dancing at a wedding reception after a video was release and the CM talks about stopping programmes where sops are not followed. The people of Goa made their vies known
Goans fume at dancing Deputy CM, even as neta says he did no wrong

Ajit John

The last days seem like a page out of a book of the macabre. Patients are clogging up the medical system and yes people are dying too, in Goa and all over the country. The CM in Goa worried by the increasing numbers said the authorities would stop functions that did not follow the sops as designated by the government. Excellent move, it was something that should have been done months ago. Then this video emerged. Deputy Chief Minister Manohar (Babu) Ajgaonkar was seen dancing with family at a wedding reception. Very few, including him wore masks and it was obvious sops were not being followed. 

What about social distancing? The gyrating minister and the wedding guests left noone in doubt that al that were distanced were covid protocols. 

Later in a statement he said the video which went viral depicting him at a crowded private celebration was related to a wedding in the family and restricted to only his relatives. 

"I wish to clarify that it is a pre-wedding function and confined to my family members. Even the main marriage ceremony, we have restricted the invitees to 70 and all Covid-19 appropriate behaviour is being followed," Ajgaonkar said in a pre-recorded audio statement he released after the video went viral on social media platforms. 

The reaction from the average Goan was one of anger but also interestingly not many people wanted to come on record expressing fear that political retribution could come their way. A corporate trainer based in Panjim said politicians who violate norms specially during these pandemic times should be arrested and be put behind bars. He said it was quite obvious there seemed to be different rules for different people. The virus had made that very obvious. Others were willing to comment but willing to address the issue directly. Educationist like Remy Rodrigues felt the speed and scope of the coronavirus crisis posed extraordinary challenges for everyone and the measure taken by the government should be strictly followed by everyone including the political leaders. She said “ Nobody is above any control measure. Leaders got to be role model and lead us with their own example. The government needs to instill confidence in the people that stringent punishment will be meted out to violators; that the safety of the citizens will never be compromised and that the well being of all is the priority of the government at all times”. 

Nupura Hautamaki, who was instrental.in getting many migrants back.home last year, however let rip saying that instead of leading by example the tourism minister decided to go ahead and danced at a family gathering. She said” If he or any of his family members get covid they will get beds while the common man with no connections will suffer”. She also slammed the CM for saying Goa was now under a 5 day lockdown but weddings with 50 people could still go ahead. The ministers she said should be showing the way but had failed in their duties. 

Others expressed their frustration but felt the political class always seemed to operate in a different universe and the rules and regulations were not for them.


Iddhar Udhar