Panaji: Less than a week after dragging Goa`s erstwhile tallest leader Dayanand Bandodkar and first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru into a controversy, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat on Friday claimed that the media misquoted him.
In a clarification, Kamat said he had high respect for Bandodkar, who was Goa`s first chief minister after the Portguese colony was liberated in December 1961. In a speech last week, Kamat suggested that lack of foresight on part of Nehru and Bandodkar put the future of the state`s fishermen in potential peril.
"A government spokesman has denied that the Chief Minister made any such statement and clarified that he has not mentioned the name of any person," said a clarification issued by the state department for information and publicity.
"The spokesman further said the Chief Minister has high respect for late Bhausaheb Bandodkar and considered him as an architect of modern Goa state," it added without mentioning Kamat`s comments on Nehru.
At a function organised by the Centre for Science and Environment here on Saturday, Kamat said that had the Goan leadership asked Nehru for a special status for the state after its liberation in 1961, the state`s fishermen would not have to fear displacement due to the proposed Central Coastal Regulation Zone Act, 2010.
Kamat`s comments slighting Bandodker triggered a storm in Goa, with newspaper editorials, civil society members and the kin of Bandodkar roundly criticising him for blaming the late Goan leader.
Kamat has on numerous occasions accused the media of "misquoting" him, including when he called Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi his best friend and told women not to hanker for reservation of seats in politics -- an issue close to the heart of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.