Goa`s carnival festivities in limbo due to assembly polls

Panaji: The March 3 Goa assembly polls have cast a pall of uncertainty over the famed carnival festivities.

A poll official in the state said repeated reminders sent by them to the Election Commission in New Delhi to sanction clearance for one of Goa`s most popular festivals had fallen on deaf years.

"Because it is a public event partially funded by the state government, we need a sanction from the Election Commission before we can permit it," the official said.

"We had sent them a proposal a week back but we have not received any response," he added.

Meanwhile, organisers are gearing up for the festival, which is now less than 10 days away.

"The traditional float parade is to be held Feb 18 in Panaji and will see beautiful floats wind their way along the streets culminating with King Momo getting his key to the city," organising committee chairman Francisco Martins said.

"Leading the magnificent parade will be the main float bearing King Momo and his companions. The floats will depict facets of our beautiful state and will be accompanied by music and dancers," he added.

Carnival processions are symbolic of Goa`s colonial Portuguese legacy and are held every year before the holy season of Lent.

The festival, which involves a public celebration in form of long continuous parades of gaily coloured floats, with masquerade dancers, is led by King Momo or king of the carnival, who is a locally chosen secretary.

The increasing popularity of the festival had led the Goa government to include the event in its tourism itinerary.


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