Home minister denies calling people of Bihar Beggars

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Panaji, Aug 21 (UNI) Goa Home Minister Ravi S Naik today denied having described Biharis as beggars in the state Legislative Assembly, while replying to a question on beggars' menace in the state.

Making a suo moto statement after question hour, Mr Naik told the House that he had only expressed concern on tuesday over beggars migrating from other states to Goa and that the government was prosecuting them under the Anti-Beggars Act, 1972.

He also referred to the telephonic conversation he had with union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad on the issue and had told him that he never made reference to the people of Bihar. He said he had also verified the records of the Assembly proceedings on the issue.

Regretting that the issue was blown out of proportion in the local and national media, Mr Naik said Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar went to the press on the issue without ascertaining the facts with him.

The speaker Pratapsingh Rane expunged certain observations made by Naik with reference to the Bihar chief minister in this connection.

UNI BM OBB SLD AS1651

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