AAP demands apology from Goa minister for mocking NRIs

The AAP on Monday demanded an apology from Goa Revenue Minister Rohan Khaunte, who had mocked non-resident Goans for being over-critical of the BJP-led coalition government, while claiming that those who have left Goa’s shores have no love for home.

“We have a large non-resident Goan population settled abroad. Khaunte with his comments has insulted them. Goan NRIs through their remittances to their families in Goa have contributed much more than this bunch of politicians, including Khaunte. He should apologise for his comments,” state Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) spokesperson Ashley do Rosario said at a press conference here.

At a public function on Sunday, Khaunte had said: “If anything happens, they (non-resident Goans) go to Facebook and blame government for not doing anything. Then more posts follow. And those who are in US, UK, London, Kuwait, who have lost that love for Goa seem to be commenting more than the Goans themselves.”

Khaunte also said that social media should be used as a “tool for positivity”, while asking people to be more responsible.

His remarks triggered outrage on social media, especially from non resident Goans and their kin and friends back home.

Lawyer activist Aires Rodrigues said that Khaunte’s comment was in “utter bad taste”. “It only displays Khaunte’s sheer immaturity and intolerance by being infuriated that Goans across the world were highlighting on social media, the issue concerning the state,” he said.

Rollyson Luis, who works onboard the Royal Caribbean cruise-liner, says that Khaunte should focus on providing infrastructure, rather than clamping down on social media.

“…we are not going to keep our mouth shut. We will speak what we want and what is right… Do your own job with proper infrastructure,” Luis said.

Roy Fernandes, who works as a project manager at Bond Communications in Dubai, also wants Khaunte not to “mute Goan voices worldwide on Facebook”.

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