Goa BJP using Catholic legislators to criticise Church: NCP

The Goa Church is a significant player in Goa’s socio-political space with its Catholic population pegged at nearly 27 percent.

Panaji: 

The Goa BJP is using Catholic legislators in the party as a “mask” to openly criticize the Church in Goa for hyping the secularism versus communalism debate ahead of general elections, the NCP Tuesday alleged.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) vice president Trajano D’Mello also told a press conference here that the drug mafia had shifted its allegiance to the present government, which was why a legislative committee report on drug trade in Goa was not being adopted by the BJP-led coalition government.

“Why are BJP’s Hindu MLAs not coming forward to criticise the Goa Church for starting a debate on secularism and communalism? Why are only Christian MLAs being used as a mask by the BJP?” D’Mello said, accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party of trying to start in-fighting within the minority community in Goa.

Goa Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza of the BJP and other Catholic legislators, who are either members of the saffron party or are part of the ruling coalition, have been openly criticising the Church as well as the Roman Catholic priests in Goa for the last one week.

While D’Souza blamed the Church for trying to create a secularism versus communalism divide, Benaulim legislator Caitu Silva accused Catholic priests of supporting the Congress.

“I want to know why the priests do not tell the people two months in advance to support the Congress. Why do they tell us to support the Congress only on the eve of election,” Caitu told reporters Sunday.

The criticism of the Church and one of its social organisations by the ruling Catholic MLAs follows attempts by the former to kindle a secularism versus communalism debate ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, much to the displeasure of the BJP, which has insisted on development as the agenda for the general elections.

A circular and a voters’ pledge issued by the Church and its satellite organisations was also obliquely critical of exclusionary and corrupt governance methods adopted by both BJP’s prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi and Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.

The Goa Church is a significant player in Goa’s socio-political space with its Catholic population pegged at nearly 27 percent.

D’Mello also said the delay by the BJP-led Goa government to act on a crucial legislative committee report on the police-politician drug mafia in Goa, could mean that the drug mafia had switched loyalties to the incumbent government. The report, which was tabled last year, has not been adopted by the government yet.

“When was the report tabled? Why is the government not adopting it? BJP MLAs themselves are on record in the assembly as saying that minor children are slowly being addicted to drugs. Does the government want to encourage this?” D’Mello said.

Incidentally, D’Mello’s NCP is backing Congress candidate Ravi Naik for the North Goa parliamentary seat. Naik and his son Roy find themselves indicted in the very same report for their links to Goa’s drug mafia.

IANS

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3 Comments

  1. Hemen Parekh said,

    April 5, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    A Secular Party ?

    Is BJP a SECULAR party ?

    Its detractors never tire of saying that it is a COMMUNAL party ( – meaning , of the HINDUS , by the HINDUS , for the HINDUS )

    On the other hand , BJP leaders keep shouting :

    ” We are not a ” HINDU – ONLY ” party

    We are a SECULAR party

    Our membership is open to people belonging to ALL religions ”

    Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi adds ,

    ” We welcome MUSLIMS into our fold with open arms

    We are happy for MUSLIMS to become our party – members ”

    For those who think this is a bluff ( – and I suspect that most MUSLIMS do ), there is only one way to find out

    Call the bluff !

    In our country , there are 160 million Muslims

    Let 20 million Muslims line up in front of BJP offices all over the country , with Rs 5 membership fee ( or whatever ) , and demand their Membership Card

    One of the following scenarios will take place :

    # If BJP does admit , even 2 million MUSLIMS as Members , BJP has
    proved that they are truly SECULAR

    # After admitting 2000 MUSLIMS , if BJP offices say , they have run out of
    Membership Forms / Cards , you would have proved , BJP is COMMUNAL

    As simple as that !

    Why keep debating endlessly when it can be proved so easily / conclusively ?

    If Indian Muslims want any change in BJP’s policies , the only way to bring it about , is from ” Within ”

    Incidentally , US English Thesaurus defines :

    * SECULAR = Worldly / Material / Lay

    * COMMUNAL = Shared / Common / Public / Collective / Joint / Mutual

    * POLARIZE = To divide into sharply opposing factions , political groups

    Do I see an irony somewhere ?

    COMMUNALS are POLARIZING ?

    Or , is it other way around ?

    * hemen parekh ( 05 April 2014 / Mumbai )

    Like

    • Isaac Gomes said,

      April 6, 2014 at 4:44 pm

      Well said Mr Parekh! Really the only way to test whether BJP is secular or communal is to increase Muslim membership and change the quation of caste vote bank.

      Isaac Gomes

      Like

      • April 7, 2014 at 11:56 am

        Heman Parekh is a hard core Hindutvadi. Nothing wrong with that.
        But Isaac Gomes needs some education. The BJP is the political face of the most rabid, communal and fascist organisation in India. Godse who murdered the Mahatma was a card holder in the RSS. He was so fed up with the organisations mild opposition towards the Muslims that he resigned from the RSS and then perpetrated his ghastly deed. This is why, today the RSS denies that they had any hand in the Mahatma`s death. Modi is a card holding RSS member and he is promoting HIMSELF not the BJP. He is a demagogue moulded in the likeness of “the bohemian corporal by the name of Schiklegruber”. The BJP will show their true saffron colours after they come to power. Be afraid Isaac, be very afraid.

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