Thackeray, Amitabh...in Goa

| 29 December 2001 22:09 IST

They differ in ideologies and professions, but to relax and enjoy, Goa is a common destination for all of them.

With Christmas mood gripping Goa, Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray has already arrived here at the Leela Beach Resort in South Goa, accompanied by Uddhav.

With the clouds of Indo-Pak war gathering over the border area, he however missed a good saffron company – prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The visit got cancelled last minute.

But there are at least three ministers, including Maharashtra minister Jaywantrao Awale, along with the Tiger of Mumbai, put up at the same resort.

Union minister of state Omar Abdullah and union minister for urban development Ananth Kumar, along with their families, have arrived at Leela on 27 December, with no fixed date to go back.

While the picturesque coastal state has always remained an attraction for Bollywood stars, super star Amitabh Bachchan has also chosen to celebrate New Year in Goa.

Along with him is the country’s leading industrialist like Anil Ambani, who is also otherwise related to Goa with his sister Dipti being Goa’s daughter-in-law, wife of Dattaraj Salgaoncar, a leading mine owner here.

Lalit Suri, one of the top hoteliers, is also holidaying in the North while his new project, the Diksha Holdings Resort, is still getting ready in deep south, in Canacona, the southern border taluka of the state.

Goa’s Christmas bells jingle even in the ears of state politicians from various parts of the country, displaying festive ‘national integrity’, whether north, deep south or the northeast.

Karnataka minister Qamrul Islam, Maharashtra minister Patangrao Kadam, Pondichery minister E Valasraj, Arunachal minister T G Rinphache and Meghalaya minister Sambar Swell Lyndoh – all are thus in the town, to greet the new year.

Just not the legislature, but the judicial wing of the Indian democracy also comes down to Goa every year to ball around at the melodious tunes of guitars and violins. Among many, the supreme court judge Justice S N Variava is also down, till 2 January.

Nonetheless, the executive of the country is well-represented in the tiny tourist state with top bureaucrats from the national capital as well as several other states in the country flying down to Goa. As such, the Altinho Circuit House and all other state guest houses are overflowing with ‘official tourists’.

After spending over a week in Mangalore, the neighboring coastal city in northern Karnataka, a religious personality like Dalai Lama is also visiting the state on 2 January, though to catch a flight from the Dabolim airport.

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