After calling a section of the domestic tourists visiting Goa the "scum of the earth" and claiming that "north Indians" wanted to "create a Haryana" in the coastal state, agriculture minister Vijai Sardesai said on Monday "there are also good people in Haryana".
Sardesai's remarks, seemingly aimed at playing down the controversy caused by his intemperate comments about domestic visitors, came a day after Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar called up his Goa counterpart, Manohar Parrikar, and expressed strong objection to the minister's utterances.
"Haryana has also got good people and we are in touch with them," Sardesai said, while referring to his recent meeting with Avadhoot Shivanand of the Shiv Yog Foundation at Gurugram to understand the concept of cosmic farming.
"These days, we have been hearing about Haryana. A few days ago, I had gone to Gurugram to meet Dr Avadhoot Shivanand, who is working on cosmic farming," he added, while addressing an event organised by the Goa State Horticulture Corporation Limited (GSHCL) here.
Shivanand had told him that "farming with celestial sounds" needed to be promoted, the minister said.
"Shivanand is not talking about magic. He has a doctorate from the Barkley University. There is some basis for his claims on cosmic farming," he added.
At the GSHCL event, some farmers were felicitated for their performance in maximising the crop yield.
"We are willing to work with the Shiv Yog foundation. I had gone there with the director of agriculture. We need to encourage local germ-plasm and give a push to organic farming," the minister said.
Sardesai's Goa Forward Party (GFP) is one of the constituents of the BJP-led NDA government in the coastal state. The other alliance partners are the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and three Independent MLAs.
The minister had last week kicked up a storm when he described a section of domestic tourists visiting Goa as the "scum of the earth" and claimed that "north Indians" wanted to "create a Haryana in Goa".
He had also urged the Goa government to look for "qualitative and not quantitative" improvement in the visitors.
Though the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had demanded an apology from Sardesai over his remarks, the GFP said on Monday there was no need for the party chief to do so.
Addressing farmers at the GSHCL event, Sardesai underlined the need to adopt organic farming.
"If we (the farmers and the state government) start giving a push to organic farming, it would take 10 years for entire Goa to be covered with organic farming. We are not too far from making Goa an organic farming state. We need to start from somewhere," he said, adding that farmers had successfully done farming through organic means.
In the next five years, organic farming would be a buzzword in Goa, Sardesai said.
He added that production of horticulture was the need of the hour in Goa if the coastal state wanted to put an end to its dependence on the neighbouring states for the procurement of vegetables.