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Goa minister slams CM for ‘reversal in stand’ on special status for Goa

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Panaji: A minister from Goa has slammed the state’s Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar for ruling out the possibility of granting special status to Goa. The Chief Minister and BJP president Amit Shah had made remarks, eliminating the possibility of ascribing a special status to Goa, in order to preserve the state’s unique identity.

Amit Shah, during his two-day visit to Goa last week, had indicated that he was not in favor of taking an immediate decision on Goa’s special status issue and that the demand would be bunched along with similar demands from other states.

Parsekar on Sunday had virtually ruled out the demand saying demanding special status was equivalent to chasing a “mirage”.

While the opposition has criticised the BJP-led governments in the state and the centre for making a u-turn on the special status promise, a Goa minister has now joined the chorus against her own chief minister.

Speaking to IANS, Forest and Environment Minister Alina Saldanha said that Parsekar’s comments describing the possibility of special status for Goa as a “mirage” were personal.

“Honourable chief minister is not as well versed with the issue as then chief minister Manohar Parrikar. He (Parrikar) knew the issue inside out,” Saldanha said.

“The chief minister should remember that he was a signatory to resolution. He was the state health minister at the time. Did he think it was a mirage then too?” asks Prajal Sakhardande, president of NGO Goa Movement for Special Status, of which Saldanha is a part.

For the last few years, the demand for special status for Goa has been doing the rounds in the political and social circles in the state, which has been facing challenges stemming from rapid in-migration, shrinking land resources and a resultant dilution of identity.

In 2014, Sakhardande had headed a delegation which met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when the latter was campaigning for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and submitted a memorandum citing reasons for granting Goa special status.

Saldanha has insisted that Goa’s demography could change forever if special status, which bars non-Goans from buying land in Goa, is not bestowed on the state.

“When are we going to wake up? Goa’s unique identity is in the process of being wiped out,” she said, adding that real estate lobbies in India metros who were keen on selling land and apartments on premium in Goa were stalling the process.

The opposition has already slammed the BJP volte face, with former union minister of state for law Ramakant Khalap claiming that as far as the BJP goes, “this is the end of the road as far as special status is concerned”.

Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson Oscar Rebello said that regarding special status, “the BJP leaders only choose to make vague statements about safeguarding cultural identity while ignoring the real issue that is about land”.

(With inputs from IANS)

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10 Best destinations For Bikini In India: International Bikini Day

Butterfly beach is one of the secluded beaches in Goa

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10 Best destinations For Bikini In India: International Bikini Day
10 Best destinations For Bikini In India: International Bikini Day. Pixabay

-By Sonali Pimputkar

International Bikini Day is celebrated on July 5, a day that marks the anniversary of a two-piece bathing suit in 1946 by a Parisian Fashion Designer Louis Reard. Since then there is no turning back. Women around the globe have been hitting the beaches and pool sides in the bathing suit. When it comes to India, bikinis are usually worn in the movies and even in 2018, the bikini culture has not been accepted fully. Not to forget the fact that India is home to sun-kissed beaches that spread over 7,500 km coastline. Beaches mean waves, sand, shores, and fun. When it comes to beaches you will find people taking photographs and secretly judging you. But that should not turn you off from hitting the beaches in India in your favourite bikini. Well, having said that there are few local beaches across India that provide complete freedom to flaunt your bikini body enjoying the sun and sand.

If you are planning to explore the backwaters of Kerala, then head to the Marari Beach in Alleppey. The secluded beach is an undeveloped one and is an ideal for lazing around. The tourism in the area is growing though. The place is minus any water sports and beach shacks. However, you can rent beach chairs and umbrellas. The beach is also home to few resorts.

Butterfly beach is one of the secluded beaches in Goa, which is known for dolphins, crabs and of course ‘butterflies’. The place is peppered with gorgeous views, aquatic lives and an aura of bliss. The semi-circle landscape, flying butterflies and acrobatics of dolphins and you donning a gorgeous bikini, doesn’t it make a picture perfect scene?

Located in Lakshadweep, Kadmat Beach is surrounded by large lagoons from both Eastern and Western side and gorgeous beaches. The beach is perfect for those who want to unwind completely. So what are you waiting for? Take a break from your hectic schedule and spend your vacation sunbathing in your favourite bikini.

Situated in the Havelock Island in Andaman, Radhanagar Beach is known for its beauty and sunsets. The beach is also known as Beach Number 7. The turquoise blue beach and white sand give tourists an opportunity to delve into nature’s charm. Sunbathing and basking in the sun is a must do activities here. The only advice is carried good sunscreens to protect your skin from the harsh sun.

Agatti Island, Lakshadweep
Agatti Island in Lakshadweep is every adventurer’s delight and is known for water sports activities. The beach is also home to sea turtles and beautiful corals. Visitors are allowed on the beach with certain restrictions and have to obtain an entry permit from the Lakshadweep Administration for entering the island.

Agatti Island, Lakshadweep
Agatti Island, Lakshadweep. Flickr

Om Beach, Gokarna

One of the popular beaches in Gokharna, Om beach derived its name for being naturally shaped like the auspicious symbol ‘Om’. The beach is also home to a bunch of water sports activities including speedboats and surfing. It is often frequented by tourists from the West and is considered safe to don a bikini.

Varkala Beach, Kerala

Also known as Papanasham beach, Varkala beach is located in Thiruvananthapuram. The beach is believed to be holy which has the power to wash away sins. It is often visited either by tourists or worshippers.

Palolem Beach, Goa

Located in the Southern Goa, Palolem beach is a one-mile long beach and is also known as Paradise beach. The beach is largely unspoiled and is inhabited by local fishermen and foreign tourists. The beach tops the list of the safest beach as it is considered safe to wear bikinis without being judged at.

Mamallapuram Beach, Tamil Nadu

Mamallapuram Beach, also known as Mahabalipuram, is a perfect destination for lazing around without being judged. Sunbathing is a must do activity here. The place is a beautiful blend of history and natural splendor. The beach is home to various tourist attractions including School of sculpture, Snake venom extracting center, Tiger’s Cave, Crocodile Farm, Five Rathas and Arjuna’s Penance.

Also read: Bikini-clad Female prisoners in Brazil filmed snorting Cocaine sparks outrage in Brazil

Benaulim Beach, Goa

Benaulim Beach is one of the less explored beaches of Goa and is away from the hustle and bustle of the city. However, the beach sees a huge crowd on weekends. Old houses, temples, and churches add to the old charm of the beach. The beach is home to a lot of accommodation and witnesses a huge crowd during weekends. (IANS)