Goa natural choice for Defence Expo due to Parrikar: CM

Margao (Goa), Nov 15 (IANS) Goa should naturally host an event like the Defence Expo, with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar being the son of this soil, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said on Sunday.

Speaking at a function organised in South Goa to mark the flagging off of the first Rajdhani train from Margao railway station, 35 km from Panaji, he said Naqueri plateau in South Goa was only an “experimental venue” for the event.

Stating that these days some people are trying to create a controversy over the Defence Expo, Parsekar said: “Defence minister is Goan son of the soil Manohar Parrikar… Since a son of the soil has reached such a position, we naturally felt such an event should also be held in Goa.”

Traditionally held in the national capital and Bengaluru, the Defence Expo is being shifted to the Naqueri plateau in the picturesque coastal village of Betul in South Goa. It is because a new convention centre is being built at the Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.

The Defence Expo 2016 is the ninth in the series of biennial Land, Naval and Internal Homeland Security Systems Exhibition organised by the defence ministry.

The move to shift the Defence Expo from New Delhi to Goa, however, has been opposed by the Congress as well as a section of the civil society.

Parsekar lashed out at the critics of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government’s decision to offer six lakh sq mts land acquired for industrial development purpose for setting up infrastructure for the Expo.

“Just because the Defence Expo is being held there, it does not mean that we are giving away land to the defence ministry. Some are shouting hoarse that the land is gone… I am the chief minister of Goa, it is my prime responsibility to look after the concerns of Goa,” Parsekar said.

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