Congress promises to build bullfighting ring in Goa

April 6th, 2009 - 5:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, April 6 (IANS) After passing a controversial legislation in the Goa assembly that legalises bullfights, the Congress has now promised a government funded bull-fighting arena as part of its poll agenda.
Francisco Sardinha, Congress candidate for the South Goa Lok Sabha seat, Monday told reporters here that he would fund the bull-fighting arena from his Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) fund if he was elected.

“Since parliamentarians are not allowed to acquire land with MPLAD money, I will request the state government to acquire land for the bull-fighting area and then fund the project under the MPLAD scheme,” Sardinha said.

Under the MPLAD scheme, each member of parliament has the choice to suggest to the respective district collector works to the tune of Rs.20 million per annum to be taken up in his or her constituency.

Sardinha, a self professed lover of bullfights, had introduced a private member’s bill in the Lok Sabha last year seeking legalisation of bullfights in order to promote tourism in the state.

“The bill has lapsed now but I assure the people of South Goa that I will introduce yet another bill in parliament in the first session itself if I am elected,” Sardinha said.

The sitting MP is a bitter political rival of Congress legislator Reginaldo Lourenco, who upstaged Sardinha by introducing the legislation legalising bullfighting in the state legislative assembly during the budget session last month.

“All I want is to ensure that the police does not harass genuine lovers of bullfights, who are constantly bothered by the authorities,” the former chief minister said.

In Goa, a typical bullfight involves two specially reared bulls, head-butting each other until one scampers away from the ring, which is lined by thousands of baying spectators, several of whom gamble on the outcome. Large sums of money change hands.

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