Book Goa Deputy CM for sedition for ‘weaponising youth’ comment: Congress

Vijai Sardesai

Panaji, May 14 (IANS) In a latenight development, the Congress urged the Election Commission to book Goa Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai for sedition for urging youngsters to “weaponise” themselves to force the state government to fulfil their demands on norms for government jobs during a speech earlier this month.

In his complaint to the EC, Vivek D’Silva, North Goa District Youth President of the Congress has also said, that Sardesai’s comments made during the inauguration of his party Goa Forward’s office premises in Panaji, clearly showed “an intent to wage war against a government duly instituted under the Constitution, and also against the people of Goa”.

“The complainant states that the said act is also an indirect attempt to threaten voters in Panaji which is going for polls on May 19. The complainant states that the said words have been made by Vijai Sardesai with intent to excite dissatisfaction and to create hatred amongst the people of Goa against the government,” the complaint states.

On May 7, Sardesai had said that he would “weaponise” his party’s youth, if the BJP-led coalition government, which he and his party are a part of, did not reverse dilution of domicile norms for recruitment in state government as well as state-funded autonomous bodies like the Goa University.

“We are willing to go anywhere to protect the interests of Goans. And this has to happen. And if our government has made a mistake then the Goa Forward youth, we will back them fully. We will weaponise them. I am going controversially to say this…that we will weaponise them to see that Goenkarponn (Goanness) is protected,” Sardesai had said.

Interestingly, Sardesai’s party is a member of the BJP-led coalition government, but Goa Forward is not contesting the May 19 Panaji Assembly bypoll.

Sardesai has maintained that he is serious about the weaponisation issue as he would not tolerate the dilution of domicile requirement as it was a threat the employment prospects of the native Goan population and that he had already spoken to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant about his concerns about the issue.

“Goan youth has to get jobs meant for them at any cost,” Sardesai has said.

On Monday, the youth wing of Goa Forward also submitted a petition to Governor Mridula Sinha who is also the Chancellor of Goa University to look into the domicile issue.

The complaint to the EC demands that Sardesai’s comment invoked the section of sedition.

“The said above statement attracts section 124A of the Indian Penal Code i.e. sedition,” the complaint states, urging action from the EC.

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