The Goa Forward Party (GFP) Friday clarified a remark made by its president Vijai Sardesai about "weaponising youth" to protect "Goanness".
The GFP is a constituent of the BJP-led Goa government.
During the inauguration of the GFP's head office earlier this week, Sardesai had said, "We are willing to go anywhere to protect the interests of Goans. And if our government has made a mistake, then we will weaponise youth to ensure that Goanness is protected."
The statement had received strong criticism with the opposition Congress demanding an apology from Sardesai, also Deputy Chief Minister in the Pramod Sawant government.
Justifying the comment, GFP general secretary Prashant Naik said Sardesai's statement was "misinterpreted".
"Weaponising youth does not mean promoting violence. It does not mean we will give weapons in the hands of youths," he said.
Referring to Mahatma Gandhi's non violence movement, Naik said. "Non violence was the weapon of Gandhiji. When someone talks about what weapons Gandhiji had to fight, that does not mean he had swords, guns in his hand. Everyone knew that non violence was his weapon. Similarly, when Sardesai spoke of weaponising the youth, he meant preparing the youth ideologically.
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