Panaji: Eight states had approached Defence ministry showing their willingness to host Defexpo India, which was eventually shifted to Goa from Delhi, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said today while rubbishing the criticism from certain sections that land was being acquired for the event.
“Though a section of people are opposite organising Defexpo in Goa, a total of eight states had approached the Ministry asking to host the event in their states. Some people are misleading people on the issue of Defexpo in Goa. There are a few people who oppose it (sic),” Parrikar said.
He was addressing a gathering during the foundation stone laying ceremony of a bridge across Zuari river near here.
The stone was laid by Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.
“There will be no land acquisition to host Defexpo. It will be held in temporary structure where the defence equipment would be on display,” the defence minister said, adding that local Goans will get an opportunity to see the equipment on display.
“It will be a great learning experience for students too,” he said.
The biennial exhibition will be conducted from February 17-20 and the Goa government has allocated land to set up necessary infrastructure at Quittol, about 24 kilometres from Margao, in South Goa.
Delhi had hosted first eight editions of the event, that brings in who’s who of the global defence industry.
The locals are opposing the exhibition fearing that defence ministry would permanently acquire the land.
State chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar had recently clarified that the land won’t be permanently allotted to defence ministry but be temporarily leased out.
The opposition Congress had alleged that the BJP-led Goa government has put the state on sale.