Covid management bigger priority than new Raj Bhavan: MoS

Panaji, Aug 6 (IANS) Amid the ongoing war of words between Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Governor Satya Pal Malik over construction of a new Raj Bhavan complex, Union Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik on Thursday also weighed in, saying the new official Governor's residence could be built after the Covid-19 crisis tides over and the state's finances are in order.

Speaking to reporters in Panaji, Naik also said that there was no question of starting a casino operation in Raj Bhavan, slamming the Opposition for spreading falsehood.

“Raj Bhavan is Raj Bhavan. Who says there will be a casino in it? It is a wrong thing to say. Raj Bhavan is the residence of the most important person in the state. How can you have a casino there?” Naik said, when asked for a comment on the ongoing controversy.

Naik is a Lok Sabha MP from the North Goa parliamentary constituency.

“The new Raj Bhavan can be constructed after the financial condition of the state improves. It is not right to think about it right now… It should not be given priority over the Covid-19 crisis. Governor has also said that it should not be given priority,” Naik also said.

Sawant has been at the receiving end from the Opposition as well as Governor Malik over mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic over the last few weeks.

On August 1, Malik also slammed the Sawant-led administration for proposing the construction of a new Raj Bhavan complex in the midst of a Covid-19 pandemic, calling the decision “irrational and imprudent”.



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