Releasing the manifesto for Goa, state Congress president John Fernandes, however, ducked questions about the party's North Goa candidate Ravi Naik, who has been linked to the drug mafia in a legislative committee probe.

"Goa has become an international drug centre due to its proximity to the 'Golden Drug Triangle' across the northwestern international border. As a result, national and international drug mafias are operating in and from Goa in a big way," the Congress manifesto said.

It said lack of coordination between several anti-narcotic units of the state and central government have often resulted in bungling, which have benefited the mafias.

This lack of sync, the manifesto said, creates "a big law and order problem, as often there are drug wars, with the government agencies looking either way, as they too form part of the trade. Corruption in enforcement agencies, both central and state, is rampant".

The manifesto also makes a case for a coordinating set-up that could act as a go-between the various anti-narcotics agencies.

Goa's two parliamentary constituencies go to the polls April 17.


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