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Tuesday, February 19, 2013 10:49:25 AM (IST)  

Goa's Portuguese Games expose strife in state BJP

Panaji, Feb 19 (IANS): The inclusion of two tainted Commonwealth Games (CWG) officials in the organising committee for the upcoming Portuguese Commonwealth Games in Goa has exposed the strife in the state's ruling BJP.

Shripad Naik, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader in Goa, told IANS that he had resigned from the Lusofonia Games committee because he "felt suffocated" by the way in which the games are being organised."

"There was a lot of suffocation for us. It was not healthy being a part of the Lusofonia team, so I resigned," said Naik, a member of parliament in north Goa.

CWG officials Rajkumar Sancheti and V.V. Saxena were being probed in the infamous CWG infrastructure scam along with Indian Olympic Association (IOA) chief Suresh Kalmadi.

The appointments were made when Naik was a member of the Lusofonia Games Organising Committee, which is headed by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Sources close to Naik said that the MP, who has simmering differences with the chief minister, resigned immediately after the state government appointed two key aides of Kalmadi, the then CWG Organising Committee chief, as advisors for the Lusofonia Games.

The games are due to be held in Goa November 2013.

About 13 countries which were once ruled by the Portugese will participate in the Lusofonia Games.

BJP officials close to Naik said that his resignation over propriety and ethical issues comes at a time when the BJP government has been promising "zero tolerance to corruption".

State director of sports Elvis Gomes said that Sancheti and Saxena were recommended by the CWG Organising Committee and had not been sought for by the state government.

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