Goa Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai on Friday stood by his last week’s controversial remark of “weaponising” the state’s youngsters to uphold the domicile provision for non administrative jobs.
Sardesai, chief of the regional party Goa Forward, has been vehemently opposing the state government’s bid to dilute the 15-year Goan domicile provision for securing jobs in the state — a decision said to be taken by late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
The Goa Forward won three seats during the Assembly polls in 2017 and is an alliance partner in the BJP-led ruling coalition.
“Let me tell you, I am saying this while being in the government and I am very clear that it is non negotiable. We are a regionalistic party and we will come to streets if needed. By weaponising, I am referring to an ideology,” he said.
“The Goan identity is most important to our party and we cannot just watch the jobs going to outsiders,” he added.
On Tuesday, during the launch of his party’s office in Panaji, Sardesai had spoken of getting “aggressive” to ensure that outsiders do not get plum postings.
Speaking to the The Indian Express on Friday, Sardesai added, “When I was in a college union, I started protesting against this. It was very simple. The rules were: Konkani was essential language and Marathi was desirable while taking up jobs. Further, the domicile status was based on a 15-year stay. There are attempts to dilute it,” he asserted. The BJP however, has distanced itself from Sardesai’s stand.
Shortly after his comments on Thursday, BJP minister Mauvin Godinho said that as a deputy CM, Sardesai “must refrain from such statements.”
When asked about Godinho’s remarks, he said, “I would like to tell others not to give unsolicited advice. I am a minister in the cabinet and a deputy CM and I am aware of my responsibilities.”