Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today justified state government’s action of the last minute cancellation of the Indo-Russian musical event stating that the event could have led to law and order problems.

Goa government had cancelled the permission that it had earlier given for Great Live Music Festival scheduled to take place on January 31-February 1, 2014 at Candolim, organised by a Russian company in association with the Russian Consulate in Mumbai. The event was cancelled as the venue was close to a church.

Parrikar told the Goa Legislative Assembly that the state-level permission committee (SLPC) had given its green signal for the event when the situation was normal in the area, but cancelled it when tension started brewing there.

Well-known bands from India such as Indian Ocean and Parikrama as well as Russian bands were to perform at the festival.
“The tourism ministry referred the file to me as a home minister and based on a police report, government decided to hold back the permission. I did not want to further strain the law and order situation,” he told the House during Question Hour today.

He said that the report submitted to him by the tourism ministry also mentioned that local legislator (Michael Lobo) was not taken into confidence by the organisers.

The chief minister clarified that the decision of not giving the permission was not taken by the SLPC.
Local BJP MLA Michael Lobo had opposed the event, saying that it was being held in the vicinity of a church.

Intervening in the discussion on the issue today, Lobo said the “cancellation of event got Goa into bad books with Russia.”

The Russian consulate officials addressing a press conference had earlier condemned the state government’s action.

During the question hour today, the Opposition benches alleged that SLPC was discouraging tourism and traditional events in the state.

Opposition benches, led by independent legislator Vijay Sardesai accused SLPC of charging unreasonable fees for the events which has discouraged many of the organisers of traditional beat shows which were held during the carnival time in the state.

He also said that the traditional show organisers are asked to pay whopping amount as fees by the SLPC, which discourages them from organising the events.

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