Goa Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai, who on Friday sparked a controversy after calling a majority of domestic tourists visiting the state “scum of the earth”, has said that he made the comment after watching a video of a tourist urinating from the window of a bus, IANS reported on Saturday. He stood by his controversial comment.
“The people of Goa are disgusted with a few tourists, who come and use Goa as a dumping ground and who create nuisance,” Sardesai, who claimed that the media had quoted him out of context, said on Saturday. “There are several instances, one of which is a video which has gone viral of a tourist urinating from the bus on one of Goa’s most popular and well done roads from Miramar to Dona Paula.”
The minister insisted that he had not generalised, and was not being was xenophobic, but had only spoken up for his state. “I cannot be apologetic about this,” Sardesai added. “I am willing to bell the cat. My party is willing to bell the cat. We want to retain the unique identity of Goa.”
Sardesai, who is the president of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ally Goa Forward Party, had also claimed that north Indian tourists were trying to “create a Haryana in Goa”. To this, Congress Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar should either demand Sardesai’s resignation or admit that he was “unable to protect the rights of his people”.