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Goa ministers caught in bikini war

Goa PWD minister Sudin Dhavalikar

Panaji: Goa PWD minister Sudin Dhavalikar said that he would complain to Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar about the carte blanche issued by his cabinet colleague Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar over the issue of wearing bikinis.

Parulekar was speaking about tourism-related issues in the ongoing monsoon session of the Goa legislative assembly.

“If they (foreign tourists) come out of the beaches wearing bikinis, then I am against it. I will take it up with the chief minister,” Dhavalikar told IANS, late Thursday. He added that his “culture” was against wearing of the two-piece bathing garment.

Parulekar had earlier said: “I want to tell the House, that as a tourism minister, I have never said no to bikinis.”

The tourism minister, however, added that bikinis could be worn on beaches as well as swimming pools but not in supermarkets or temples.

Goa is a beach tourism destination in the country, and is especially popular with European tourists, who enjoy the beaches and the mild winter sun from late October to March, which coincides with harsh winter in Europe.

In August last year, ministers Sudin Dhavalikar and Deepak Dhavalikar of the BJP-led coalition government demanded a ban on bikinis, claiming the beach wear is against Indian culture.

Lavu Mamledar, a legislator of the conservative Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, also said that bikinis were an impediment to India becoming a superpower.