AAP brushes aside Goa Church displeasure reports

Panaji: Reacting to reports of Goa’s Roman Catholic Church’s displeasure, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) state convenor and South Goa Lok Sabha candidate Elvis Gomes, here on Saturday, said views of “one or two of the clergy don’t represent” the views of the Church.

“One or two clergymen don’t represent the Church. The founder of Christianity himself has taught us to forgive. I forgive those who spoke lies,” Gomes, a Roman Catholic by faith, told the media.

The Catholic Church plays a key socio-political role in the coastal state and Catholics account for nearly a quarter of the Goa’s 1.5 million population.

Gomes, facing sitting MP Narendra Sawaikar of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Francisco Sardinha of the Congress, is being criticised in some political quarters as a Congress “vote-cutter” and whose presence would bolster the BJP’s chances in the South Goa constituency.

Gomes also said the AAP would withdraw from two Lok Sabha and two Assembly by-elections if the allegations about the party being ‘B’ team were proven. “The AAP is ready to withdraw candidates from the four seats if some one could prove it even to some extent,” he said.

Goa’s Lok Sabha elections and Assembly by-elections are scheduled for April 23.