Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar ventured on a damage control exercise on Wednesday, 14 February, by saying that everyone is welcome to his State.
Parrikar, a former defence minister, defended the comment of Goa Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai, who had called domestic tourists as “scum of earth”.
Claiming that Sardesai’s comment was harsh but not meant to incite violence, Parrikar welcomed all tourists but with a rider.
“Everyone is welcome, subject to the condition that he should not urinate on the roads or strew garbage,” Parrikar told reporters adding that he will “prefer to have responsible tourists from any place in the world”.
An IIT-Mumbai alumnus, Parrikar also defended his own comment which he made on 10 February.
“I have begun to fear now because even girls have started drinking beer. The tolerance limit is being crossed,” he had said at the State Youth Parliament in Panaji triggering criticism on social media.
Recalling the remark, the Chief Minister said on Wednesday that his words had been twisted and that he meant “school and college students” only.
“If someone wants to purposely twist the statement, we cannot help it. It was twisted in such a way that finally the interviewer had to intervene and tweet that I was referring to school and college students,” he told reporters in Panaji.
The BJP leader defended his words by claiming that he used the word “worry”, which is different from “fear” because the former is “fundamental to every person”.
(With inputs from agencies.)