Parrikar wants Goa Catholics to break anti-BJP taboo

Panaji, Dec 18 (IANS) Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday exhorted voters in the Catholic-dominated region of Salcete in south Goa not to fear the BJP.

“No one needs to be scared of the BJP. One can work with them… BJP is a Goan party, it protects the interests of the state and we will get your support in the coming days,” Parrikar said at an event in Navelim assembly constituency. Goa will see elections early next year.

The Catholic dominated Salcete sub-district has been an electoral barrier of sorts for the Bharatiya Janata Party.

But in the 2012 assembly elections, the BJP cobbled together a new strategy by tying up with independent candidates with Catholic religious orientation to defeat the Congress in its own bastion.

Parrikar now says that the Catholic leaders, instead of contesting as independents, should join the BJP so that the anti-BJP taboo is broken.

“They (political opponents) have always been scaring people from Salcete when it comes to the BJP. We have been in power for nine years. We take society along and ensure that there are no fissures.

“Some people who criticise me and the government… I say there should not be special appeasement of anyone, but all Goans should be given justice and this government has taken up this responsibility,” Parrikar said, blaming the Congress for rampant corruption.