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Daijiworld Media Network - Gao (MB)
Report and pic from special correspondent

Panaji, Jul 16: After raking up controversiesby her statements, UPA-lLft's presidential candidate Pratibha Patil on Sunday refrained from speaking to the press in Goa.

Instead, union minister Prithviraj Chavan, who accompanied her for Goa tour, faced the press. "She will not speak to the press... We will distribute amongst you her statement which she has gave before the voters (legislators and MPs),'' a congress functionary told the waiting mediapersons at Vasco, near Dabolim airport.

Patil, who was received by Goa chief minister Digamber Kamat, went back to the airport after attending a meeting in a small-time hotel near airport. Chavan, on the other hand, met the journalists.

"The allegations against UPA candidate are levelled by a frustrated group of people. The charges are levelled by the people who are not familiar with the cooperative sector," Chavan told mediapersons. He said that such an act was "unfortunate".

Earlier, Patil, in her speech to the voters, sought to steer clear of all the controversies. "In my 45-year-long public life, I had to face many challenges but I have continued to work ceaselessly towards rural development, women's empowerment and education," Patil said interacting with the legislators and MPs of the ruling Congress-led alliance in Goa on Sunday afternoon.

"In spite of all attempts to tarnish my image with baseless charges, I remain steadfast in my commitment to my fellow citizens and my country in the highest and the most noble tradition of our democracy. I will continue to serve the nation with humility, and with a deep sense of duty," Patil said during her 15-minute interaction in the state.

Goa Chief Minister Digamber Kamat along with Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) legislators attended the interaction. The Save Goa Front (SGP), which has extended support to UPA candidate, however, did not attend the meeting.

The central leaders Margaret Alva, Govindrao Adik and others were present for the interaction.


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