Panaji: Goa Forward Party chief Vijai Sardesai has criticised state Ports Minister Michael Lobo over his remarks against Indian expats, and alleged that the Pramod Sawant-led government is 'intolerant' towards criticism.
Lobo on Saturday claimed some expats were poisoning the minds of locals over developmental projects in the state.
"Those holding the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card should be more concerned about what is happening in Portugal or London. Leave Goa to us, we are here to take care of it. We know you love Goa, but be positive about the state. Don't create roadblocks," the minister said.
Reacting to it, Sardesai alleged that the "BJP-led state government is intolerant towards criticism against it."
He said Indians living abroad have the right to voice their opinion about Goa.
Lobo should defend himself and his party instead of challenging the rights of OCIs to comment on issues pertaining to Goa, the former state deputy chief minister told reporters in Margao town of South Goa district on Sunday.
Sardesai's party was earlier an ally of the BJP in the coastal state.
"When I supported Manohar Parrikar in 2017 to form the BJP-led government, I was condemned by them (OCIs). I am still being condemned, but I have never spoken a word against OCIs," Sardesai said.
The OCIs have the right to express their opinion, he asserted.
"They had to go abroad and get passport of another country because the government (here) has failed to provide them employment opportunities," he said.