Goa: Archbishop draws flak from Velingkar for poll guidelines remark

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Panaji, Dec 30: A day after Goa Church talked about issuing guidelines to the "faithful" to help them decide the "right candidate" to vote for in upcoming Assembly polls, rebel RSS leader Subhash Velingkar on Thursday accused its archbishop of "interfering" into state politics.

"Archbishop should stop interfering in state politics. BJP is running its government under the instructions of the archbishop," said Velingkar who had floated Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) following severe differences with the BJP-led government.

Subhash Velingkar

Addressing reporters, Velingkar said the archbishop had given five candidates to the BJP during 2012 elections, who were not from the party cadre.

In his address to mark Christmas celebrations, archbishop of Goa and Daman Rev Fr Filipe Neri Ferrao had said the church will issue guidelines to the faithful to help them decide "the right candidate" to vote for in the elections.

He also said the church will not canvass for any particular party or candidate but will only guide the voters.

Clarifying his position, Velingkar said GSM is not against any community per se, "but the archbishop is interfering in a large way in state politics." He also objected to Goa Governor Mridula Sinha attending the Christmas event.

"Why she does not attend all other religious functions?" he asked.

"Henceforth, all government heads should be barred from attending any religious functions/meetings," Velingkar said. GSM has entered the poll fray by forging alliance with Shiv Sena.

PTI

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