Even as a photograph supposedly showing Goa Fish Mafia kingpin Maulana Ibrahim posing with the Town and Country Planning (TCP) Minister Vijai Sardesai has gone viral on Facebook, the Goa Agriculture Minister (and TCP) said he is in favour of holding beauty contests in paddy fields if that serves the purpose of attracting the youth to farming, reports PTI.
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Vijai Sardesai had in the recent past vehemently denied that he was closely connected with fish mafia kingpin Maulana Ibrahim and his Goa Forward Party issued press releases on social media claiming that Maulana Ibrahim was not at all connected with the Goa Forward Party.
However, evidence to the contrary has surfaced, post the GFP statement, which shows that Ibrahim actively campaigned for the GFP during the Goa Assembly 2017 elections, (Read Here) and even funded and bankrolled the fledgling party.
The minister was responding to the demands for grants for the Agriculture department in the Legislative Assembly on 1 August. He said all attempts should be made to make agriculture an attractive profession.
Today agriculture does not appeal the young generation. They feel that it is a profession of the old people. The need of the hour is to incentivise agriculture.
‘Do Everything Possible to Get Youth to the Field’
Stressing his point, the minister said, “If you want, you can even host beauty contests in paddy fields. Let the youth come. You can do that. Do everything possible to get the young generation to the fields”.
Sardesai had recently appealed to the farmers to chant a Vedic mantra in their fields and adopt “cosmic farming” techniques to increase the yield.
He said one should adopt traditional methods of farming. “This is required for the food safety,” he said.
Underlining the importance of community farming, Sardesai said, “The Goa government will remain the guarantor of land to ensure that no one will grab the land in question once it is brought under the contract farming scheme,” he said.
‘Some People (Aam Aadmi Party) Just Want to Sensationalize Issues’
Responding to Cut Motions moved by the Opposition during Demands for Grants for the Town and Country Planning department, the minister took a veiled dig at AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) workers.
“Some people just want to sensationalise the issues, but don’t come up with the proof when given an opportunity,” he said referring to various allegations levelled by the AAP against state ministers while holding protests on various issues.
“The Chief Town Planner had written a letter to them, but they didn’t turn up,” Sardesai, who is also the Town and Country Planning minister said.
He was referring to the allegations of illegal conversion of land levelled against him by an NGO a couple of months back.
These people had appeared during elections wearing topis (caps). They flopped and now they are back as activists.When they are asked to prove their allegations, they disappear. This is anarchy. The leader of these people is an anarchist, so what can you expect?
The AAP had drawn a blank in the Goa Assembly polls held last year.
Turning at the Congress MLAs, the minister said, “they are pointing fingers at us today but tomorrow they will do it to you”.
The Congress has extended support to the NGO which had held a protest against the government. The minister said Goa needs planned development and to achieve that goal things need to be put in place.