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Congress attacks Parrikar over 'ghar-wapsi' comment

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  12 Feb 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Paji, February 11: The Congress in Goa on Wednesday hit out at Manohar Parrikar over his comments published in the media about the controversial 'ghar-wapsi' programme, where the former state chief minister was quoted as saying that the re-conversion programme "could never touch Goa".

The Congress now claims that Parrikar's alleged comments made to the Goan Catholic Welfare Union and reported in the media on Tuesday, confirmed that the re-conversion programme was being calibrated by the ruling Bharatiya Jata Party.

"When he gives an assurance that ghar-wapsi 'could never touch Goa', that means a programme like this does exist and the BJP is pushing it. Or else, how can he claim to control it," Congress spokesperson Sunil Kawthankar said at a press conference at the party's headquarters in Paji.

The local media had published the comments along with a press statement issued by the Catholic union on Tuesday.

"Parrikar said he will take up the Delhi church issue with the union home minister (Rajth Singh) and with respect to 'ghar-wapsi', he assured it could never touch Goa," he said. Parrikar's assurance, as published in the media, comes ahead of the forthcoming Paji assembly by-election, which was necessitated after the former Goa chief minister was elevated to the union cabinet as defence minister by Prime Minister rendra Modi.

While the 1.5 million population in Goa includes around 26.5 percent Catholics, Paji too has a significant number of Catholic voters.

Kawthankar also said Parrikar should have made the comments against 'ghar-wapsi' at the tiol level where it mattered.

"BJP MPs, party supporters and the RSS cadre have been actively speaking for ghar-wapsi, so what stops Parrikar from opposing it at the tiol level where it matters? Why should his assurance be limited to Goa alone," Kawthankar said. (IANS)

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