Many national leaders give divisive statements: BJP Catholic leader

Panaji, Nov 16: One or two national leaders of the BJP, as well as from other political parties, make nonsensical comments and stoke intolerance to lure voters, a Catholic leader of the party said here on Monday.

BJP's Goa legislator and the party's minority face Michael Lobo also accused leaders of a key ruling coalition partner, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), of trying to rouse communal sentiments.

Lobo, the Bharatiya Janata Party's North Goa district president, was responding to a question at a press conference on whether his party's national leaders, along with members of other political parties, were responsible for making comments which aroused intolerance.

"We agree to that. See, in every party there are one or two people who talk some nonsense which is not required.

"Not only our party. You look at all the political parties. They think if you talk like this, you will get more votes or people will come towards them. It is wrong," said Lobo, the legislator from Calangute constituency.

Lobo, who did not take any names, has campaigned nationally for the BJP, especially in pockets of Christian voters like the northeast, Maharashtra etc.

"When the Congress was ruling India, it was always there. Now it has been hyped in such a way that it is about to divide India. India cannot be divided. India is a country with so many religions, so many different types of people are staying together and it should remain like this," Lobo said.

Asked if comments made by leaders of the MGP, a partner in the BJP-led ruling coalition, casting aspersions on Roman Catholic Church-run convent schools and demanding that India be made a Hindu nation, could amount to fomenting communalism, Lobo said: "They are equally communal statements.

"No political party or leader of the political party should give such statements which will divide the people in the name of religion, caste, creed or anything. You have to be responsible while giving statements."

Goa's Factories and Boilers Minister Deepak Dhavalikar in July said in the legislative assembly during a congratulatory motion that India could be established as a Hindu nation under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Earlier in April, Dhavalikar, an MGP leader, had said studying in convent schools makes children devoid of Indian culture and that rapes occurred more often because of Western cultural influences.


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