'Discrimination continues even in Goa's reserved constituency'

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 15, 2009 12:20 hrs

Goa's only Scheduled Caste (SC) cabinet minister Manohar Azgaonkar Tuesday alleged that members of the SC community in his reserved constituency of Dhargal were still not treated at par with others.

Azgaonkar, a panchayati raj minister in the Congress-led coalition government, was speaking during the winter session of the Goa legislative assembly here.

'Even today these people are not treated on par with others in my own constituency, which is reserved as a Scheduled Caste assembly seat. When they go to a hotel to have tea, they are still given separate cups specially kept for them,' Azgaonkar said.

Azgaonkar said that attempts by him to rouse the Dalit community into resisting such social humiliation had failed.

'When I try to get them out, they say Babu (Azgaonkar's popular alias) you will do it for one day. Then we will be left to face the wrath by ourselves,' the minister said.

Speaker Pratapsing Rane, who intervened at this juncture, told the minister to complain to the state administration about the social injustice.

'It's a serious issue. You must complain so that action is taken in such cases. This is not accepted,' Rane said.

Goa, one of the most popular coastal tourism havens in the country, is otherwise known for its predominantly western and bohemian outlook.