Panaji, Feb 14 : In a bid to diffuse the controversy stirred by Goa Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai calling domestic tourists as “scum of earth”, state Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday said that everyone was welcome to the state, provided they do not urinate on roads and add to the state’s garbage woes.
Parrikar also said that Sardesai’s comment will not impact tourism in the coastal state. He added that while the choice of Sardesai’s words was harsh, he did not intend to incite violence.
“Everyone is welcome, subject to (the) condition that he should not urinate on the roads or strew garbage,” Parrikar told reporters.
“He (Sardesai) asked me a question whether it will impact (the tourist flow). I do not think it will impact… I will prefer to have a good and responsible tourist from any place in the world,” Parrikar added.
The Chief Minister said that basic social etiquettes applied to the locals as well.
Sardesai had stoked a controversy last week by denigrating the credentials of tourists visiting Goa and accusing north Indians of trying to convert Goa into another Haryana.
He had referred to the 6.5 million domestic tourists visiting Goa every year as “scum of the earth”.
“He should not have used harsh words. I spoke to him… he did not intend to, but it is not that his logic was wrong.
“But it was interpreted in a wrong way… He corrected it the next day,” Parrikar said while commenting on Sardesai’s remarks.
The Chief Minister said that in view of the on-going infrastructure development works in the state, the number of inbound tourists was likely to touch the 10 million mark in the next one or two years, from the current figure of nearly seven million.