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Goa unit Shiv Sena president Shivprasad Joshi on Saturday said many people in neighbouring Karnataka cannot sing the national anthem, remarks that could trigger a political controversy.
"People in Goa are patriots. I know many students who can sing complete 'Vande Mataram' unlike Karnataka where many people do not even know how to sing the national anthem and they also do not know our national fathers," Joshi told reporters.
Goa and Karnataka have locked horns over the sharing of Mahadayi or Mandovi river water.
Praising Sri Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik, whose entry is banned in Goa, he said Muthalik has done a commendable work in Karnataka and he is a protector of women.
"When Sri Ram Sene workers went to the Mangalore pub (in 2009) to make our sisters understand that it is not fair to indulge in pub culture, parents of a girl who was alleged to have been assaulted by the Sene workers, thanked Muthalik. The parents said Muthalik was doing the right job of protecting women," the Sena leader said.
He said though the Sena did not demand a ban on "pub culture", but it is against the "late night affairs outside these places".
"You visit a pub in the night at 12 and you find girls and boys sitting outside and drinking. Is this fair? We don't mind what tourists do here, but when it comes to local boys and girls, it is our duty to educate them," Joshi said.
Responding to a question on the ban imposed on Muthalik's entry, he said the Sena would support Sri Ram Sene if they want to do good work for Goa.
"Even any Muslim organisation wants to come to Goa and do some good work, we will back them," he said.