Sardesai's 'weaponising youth' remark: Cong complains to EC

TheGoa Congress has complained to the Election Commission (EC) against state's Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai over his comments on "weaponising" the youth and demanded that he be charged with sedition.

North Goa district's Youth Congress president Vivek D'Silva in a complaint lodged with the EC on Monday said Sardesai's remark was "an indirect attempt to threaten voters" in the poll-bound Panaji Assembly constituency.

He claimed Sardesai's comments were "against the state" and demanded that he be booked for sedition.

The Panaji Assembly bypoll, necessitated due to the demise of its sitting MLA and former chief minister Manohar Parrikar, will be held on May 19.

Last week, while responding to a question on dilution of domicile clause by the Goa University, Sardesai, who heads the Goa Forward Party (GFP), said they were willing to go anywhere to protect the interest of Goans.

"And if our government has made a mistake, then we will weaponise them (youth) to ensure that Goanness is protected," he said.

D'Silva alleged that Sardesai made the comments with an intent to wage a war against a government duly instituted under the Constitution, and also against the people of Goa.

Sardesai made the remarks with an intent to "excite dissatisfaction" and to "create hatred" among the people of Goa against the government," he said in the complaint.

Sardesai, who is currently out of the country, could not be contacted for his response.

However, GFP vice president Durgadas Kamat said, "We have already made it clear that when we meant weaponisation, our weapon is 'Goenkarponn' (Goanness). The Congress, by filing a false complaint, has proved that it is anti-Goan.