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‘Not wearing lungi in Tamil Nadu can cost you election’

Panaji, Feb 2 (Calcutta Tube) Stressing the political importance of preserving and promoting ethnic identity, Congress Rajya Sabha member from Goa Shantaram Naik Tuesday said no one can win an election in Tamil Nadu if he does not wear a ‘lungi’.

He cited union Home Minister P.Chidambaram’s sartorial preference to buttress his argument.

‘In Tamil Nadu, unless a politician wears a ‘lungi’ (a wrap-around), he does not get votes. If he (politician) wears a shirt and pants there…he loses,’ Naik said, adding that even Chidambaram wears a white ‘mundu’ (wrap-around) regularly, barring some exceptions.

Naik, who is also the outgoing president of the All India Konkani Parishad (AIKP), a literary institution established in 1939, said that striking an ethnic cord with the electorate was a key to electoral politics, be it through ethnic attire like the ‘lungi’ in Tamil Nadu or an ethnic language like Konkani in Goa.

‘Today politicians in Goa feel that if you do not speak in Konkani, no one will vote for you. That is the general feeling amongst politicians here,’ Naik said, during the press conference called to announce the 2010 edition of the AIKP, which will feature more than 2,000 litterateurs from the Konkani speaking regions of Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra.

Konkani, an ethnic language of Goa, is also the official language of the state.

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