Amid an uproar over the proposed “Beach Love” festival being planned in the coastal city, the Andhra Pradesh government on Saturday clarified that it will not allow any programme “inimical to Telugu culture and traditions”.
The authorities termed as “rumours” some media reports that the programme proposed to be held at one of the beaches during February 12-14 (Valentine’s Day) would hurt the cultural sensibilities of people.
Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation and the Municipal Corporation of Visakhapatnam condemned, what they called, a misinformation campaign.
“It is speculated that over nine thousand couples from across the world would descend upon Visakhapatnam to indulge in a no-holds barred beach love and that preparations are on to organise the private event sanctioned by the government,” an official statement said.
It clarified that the government had received a proposal by a private agency about organising a mega event during February 2017 in Visakhapatnam to attract foreign tourists. Accordingly, the government formed a committee to liaise with the event managers.
“As of now the private agency did not put forth any blueprint of the proposed event before the said committee, and as and when it is done the same would be examined as per standard procedure,” it added.
A Mumbai based agency, which holds similar events in Goa, has submitted the proposal to the government.
Women’s organisations have come out strongly against the proposed programme.
Even political parties including the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is sharing power with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), have condemned the proposal. They said such an event which goes against the state’s culture can’t be allowed.
BJP leader and local legislator P. Vishnukumar Raju said there was no question of allowing such a programme.
“Come what may, we will not allow this event,” said R. K. Roja, a leader of opposition YSR Congress Party.