Goans will decide which party is secular, echo common voices

19 Apr 2024  |   06:30am IST

Goans will decide which party is secular, echo common voices

Goans will decide which party is secular, echo common voices

Team Herald

PANJIM: Concerned citizens of Goa have said that people are wise enough to understand who is secular and who is not while they go to exercise their franchise on May 7 for the upcoming Parliamentary elections. They were reacting to the statement of  Chief Minister Sawant welcoming the Archbishop of Goa and Daman, Filipe Neri Cardinal Ferrão, asking eligible Catholic voters’ to cast their votes for persons with secular credentials, who are truly committed to work for the good of all the people and to uphold the values enshrined in our Constitution’.

The Archbishop also appealed to the people to refrain from going on pilgrimage to Valankanni on the eve of voting day in Goa on May 7

Concerned citizens have criticised the CM over his understanding of the statement of the Archbishop asking to vote for ‘persons with secular credentials’. They said people know well who is secular and who is not.

Glen Cabral from South Goa said, “The Archbishop issues the advisory every time (there is an election). He calls on people to think and vote. Don’t sell your vote. Goans have to think and vote if we have to save our democracy. We should not sell our vote.” 

Ana Gracias,  also from South Goa said, “Every voter has his choice, every voter has his right. I would request the voters not to be blind and don’t be confused. Vote what your heart tells you and vote for the right party. Don’t listen to anyone. Vote from your heart.”

Anthony D’Silva, a social rights activists from Salcette said  said, “CM is saying Archbishop has said to vote for the BJP. Archbishop has said to vote for a secular party.  But we, the people of Goa will decide which party is secular or not. Goans will decide. 

Meanwhile, priest Fr Eremito Rebello has urged voters to follow their conscience while voting and to evaluate if the candidates can understand issues on the ground faced by the locals, like the double tracking issue or the demands being made by the ST, SC, and OBC communities.

He added that they should put their hand on their heart and conscience and then vote. 

BJP is a secular party, says CM

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, thanked Archbishop Filipe Neri Cardinal Ferrão, for his statement appealing to Goans to vote for individuals with secular credentials and said that BJP is the most secular party in the true sense of the term and the message signified voting for the BJP.

Sawant said the way the BJP is going about ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas’, it has not discriminated against anyone. 

“It you take the history of the BJP from 2012 to 2024 we have done more work than the Congress, may it be the (St Francis Xavier’s) Exposition or for the Church, we have strengthened the Minority Commission both at the Centre and at the State level. So there is no problem. If anyone is really secular, it is the BJP. They have taken out the circular so that people vote for the lotus.”

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