Turning down the suggestion made by former RDA minister and Nuvem MLA Francisco Pacheco to shift the DefExpo to Mopa, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said the Defence Ministry will consider such a suggestion
after March 31 when those making such suggestions have witnessed the Defence Expo, which is scheduled to be held at Quitol between March 28 and 31.
The Defence Minister, who was at the residence of Minister for Fisheries Avertano Furtado, who celebrated his 50th birthday on Sunday, said the ministry does not want the land. With regard to those who want the Defence Expo to be shifted elsewhere, “I will consider their suggestions after March 31 after they experience the event,” he said. Parrikar said that the people of Betul will lose an opportunity if the defence event is shifted out of Betul.
Stating that there is tremendous benefit for the locals as hotels in South Goa are already full and that the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) has already welcomed the event, Parrikar said that once the DefExpo ends, he would invite everybody for their suggestions. Dismissing any intervention of the Centre to check opposition to the event, he said that the state government is handling it and added that after clarification by the government on the event, people are now convinced.
Advising those who are sceptical of the event to wait till March 31 when the event ends and then comment, Parrikar said the people have misunderstood the DefExpo and complicated things which has resulted in opposition to the event. He said those who have visited a Defence Expo event in the past have actually said that it is one of the best events.