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Goa poll: EC yet to okay carnival

The fate of the annual Goa Carnival is hanging in balance as the Election Commission is yet to give its nod to the flamboyant public display owing to the model code of conduct being in place for the March 3 Assembly polls, a senior official said on Thursday.

EC is yet to grant the permission for quintessential public float parades, tableaus and other celebrations for the gala event kicking off from February 18.

The State Tourism Department has been organising float parades in various cities, which has now come under scanner due to code of conduct. The organisers are gearing up for the festival, which is now less than 10 days away.

A senior Tourism official said the department of tourism has sent a letter to EC seeking its permission for the parades last week but is yet to hear from the EC. "We need permission because it is a government funded event and also it's a public event," he said.

Carnival processions, which were earlier restricted to rural Goa, has now become a major tourist attraction after department of tourism began holding the parades in the cities. Carnival processions are symbolic of Goa`s colonial Portuguese legacy and are held every year before the holy season of Lent. King Momo, a mythological character who rules the state during the Carnival festivities, leads the parade.

The increasing popularity of the festival had led the Goa government to include the event in its tourism itinerary.

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