Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) on Wednesday demanded the immediate removal of Tourism Minister Manohar Azgaonkar for his alleged insensitive remark.
"Condemning the statement made by Tourism Minister Manohar alias Babu Azgaonkar of invoking Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) on the striking lifeguards, Congress demands Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to immediately remove Tourism Minister Manohar alias Babu Azgaonkar from the Cabinet," said the GPCC in a statement.
"Is this the 'Real Goemkarpon' which the Chief Minister wants to take forward by punishing the hard-working Life Guards and rewarding the irresponsible contractor M/s Drishti Life Saving Pvt Ltd ?" the release added.
Swati Shet Kerkar, Congress spokesperson in the release said that it is on account of failure, irresponsible behaviour and arrogance of M/s Drishti and the Tourism Department that has caused three deaths in the last 15 days on the Goan Beaches.
"Despite receiving a huge amount of Rs 141 crores from the government towards the Life Guards and the Beach Safety Contract, the contractor did not pay timely salaries to the hard-working Life Guards."
"The contractor deprived the Life Guards of basic necessities like drinking water, walkie- talkies, gadgets, and equipment needed for the rescue operation, etc. The photographs of the vehicles deployed by M/s Drishti on various beaches are in a pathetic condition," it added.
Karkar further lashed out at the Chief Minister for extending Rs 141 crore contract to a private company and threatening the local Goans Life Guards with the ESMA.
( With inputs from ANI )