Panaji, Jan 18: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday asserted that the Defence Expo would be held in Goa this year, and that too for six days, instead of the usual four days.
The exhibition is proposed to be held at Betul village in South Goa in March. It is being opposed by Congress and others on the ground that it would require land acquisition.
"I have asked the officials to extend the Defence Expo by another two days beyond its usual four-day schedule. For two days let the school students have a look at defence equipment," Parrikar said, addressing a gathering of BJP workers here.
"We are going to hold Defence Expo this time. The locals will see the employment - and revenue- generating potential of this event. I am sure after experiencing the benefits of Defence Expo the locals themselves will respond to the politicians who are opposing it," Parrikar said.
"I have already received a proposal from Querim village (in North Goa). They want the Defence Expo to be held in their village. They have already given me letter agreeing to allot 4,500 lakh square metres of land. They want government to develop a permanent exhibition ground there," said the former Goa Chief Minister.
Parrikar said the Expo would inspire the school students to enter the Armed Forces. "Don't expect Goans to be soldiers as they are never inclined to be. But surely Goans are good officers. There are several Goans who are having brilliant career as officers in defence forces," he said.