“Allow bikinis, tourism will flourish in Maharashtra”
In what can be called as a historical statement, the Deputy Speaker of the Goa Assembly and BJP MLA Michael Lobo states that the state of Maharashtra is falling short of tourist revenues because it does not allow bikinis in its territory. Lobo made this statement while speaking at one of the events held to mark the Opinion Poll day, where he justifies that bikinis are allowed in Goa because of the Opinion Poll of 1967.
At a time when Goa was liberated from the Portuguese rule in 1961, a historic referendum was held in the state to decide on the future of Goa where the people of Goa voted against the proposed merger with Maharashtra and opted to remain as a Union Territory. Goa was eventually granted statehood in 1987 after years of being governed as a Union Territory. When the entire state celebrates the Opinion Poll Day, which marks the liberation of the state, Lebo had the feeling that it was this referendum that gave the permission to wear bikinis in Goa.
He justifies why bikinis are allowed pointing to the Opinion Poll, stating, “The development which has happened here (in Goa), the fact that international tourists come to this destination… To go to the last limit, bikini is allowed on the beach is because of this Opinion Poll day. I am going into that because in Maharashtra it is not allowed. Let us be very frank. In Maharashtra it is not allowed, otherwise tourism would have flourished there.”
Lobo also said that Goa and its people should give proper due to Opinion Poll day by hosting an official function in Panaji to commemorate the occasion every year.