Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was attacked by protesters in Panaji on Saturday who shouted slogans like “Parrikar government Murdabad”, demonstrating against demonetisation.
Parrikar came out of his office and started asking who was shouting out these slogans. He then got into a verbal spat with one of the angry protesters and later on all those present there became agitated and were about to attack the minister. He somehow managed to escape the commotion with the help of his security guards when some of those protesting there tried to attack him.
In a U-turn on Saturday, Parrikar said it was neither possible nor desirable to make Goa a fully cashless state. He said the state government aimed to make only up to 50 percent transactions in Goa cashless. “Fully cashless is not possible, nor desirable, nor intended; what is intention is to reduce the extent of use of cash. Wherever possible, start doing transactions through a digital mode for which we intend to take it to 50 per cent from about 15-20 percent as early as possible. There are so many difficulties which are being surmounted now,” he added.
Earlier, in a jibe at chronic critics, Parrikar said his advice to those who “blabber needlessly” to get publicity might as well take-off their clothes and dance naked.
Parrikar, who was attending a BJP meeting recently at Sattari, north Goa — 40 km from Panaji — had broached the subject of criticism following sharp words from a section of the Goan media. Referring to the editor of a vernacular newspaper, he said in 1968, after the Watergate scandal was unravelled in the US, the man had written a large editorial giving advice to President Richard Nixon. “Now, how could an editorial written by him in Marathi reach Nixon? He is in America,” Parrikar said. “Some people do not know their limits. They keep on blabbing. I’m giving them some advice. Take off your clothes and dance naked. That way you will get more fame.”
The “international-level editor” Parrikar said, had been “brought here in his old age”. “His newspaper had a sale of 1,000,” the Defence Minister added. Ahead of next year’s Assembly elections in Goa, the Opposition had regularly criticised Parrikar. His jibe at actor Aamir Khan had drawn widespread criticism on the social media.