Highway liquor ban: Manohar Parrikar wants some relaxations for Goa

New Delhi: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday said his state attracts a lot of international tourists and hence some relaxation is needed with regard to Supreme Court order banning liquor along highways.

“India is a vast country…Goa is a tourist state, we need some relaxations. But I am not going to denotify highways,” Parrikar said at an event here.

Several states are looking at measures like denotifying highways while others are thinking of moving court to seek exemptions, amidst concerns of the hospitality sector and fears of revenue losses following SC order banning liquor sale along highways.

When asked whether he is more comfortable in Goa, Parrikar said, “At the age of 60 plus, it was difficult for me to adjust to Delhi weather. Plus my department (the Defence Ministry) was also of different kind.”

Responding to criticism that he formed government in Goa despite Congress being a majority party, he said the BJP worked hard and staked claim to form the government after getting support of requisite number of MLAs while the Congress did nothing.

Taking a jibe at Digvijaya Singh, who was in charge of Congress party’s affairs in Goa, Parrikar said, “When Digvijaya comes to Goa, he should eat fish, his intellectual level will go up.”

In Goa, the Congress had emerged as the largest party after the recently held polls, but the BJP led by Parrikar managed to form the government with the support of other parties.