Ahead of elections, a Church-backed NGO in Goa denounces political defections

Panaji, Feb 9 (IANS): Attributing the lack of ethics and complete disregard for popular mandate as the main reason behind the phenomenon of political defections and desertions, an NGO which represents the social arm of the influential Roman Catholic Church in Goa also said that a grip by “certain individuals” on voters had reached demonic proportions.

“Lack of ethics and complete disregard for the mandate of the people are at the heart of defections and other political immoralities. Goa has gained notoriety in the past as well as today for a record number of defections and desertions motivated by selfish considerations,” the father said. Savio Ferandes, executive secretary of the church-backed Council for Social Justice and Peace, said in a statement on Tuesday, days before the February 14 assembly elections.

“With us, there is a stranglehold by certain individuals on the voters, which has taken on demonic proportions. On our side, we must look not only at the candidate but also at his party. control) through political entities.

“Money and gifts are given out and unfortunately many people accept them. These offer no solution to unemployment, price escalation and homelessness. Many candidates are pushed to split the votes on sectarian considerations in the middle,” he added.

Fernandes also criticized political parties that offered free pilgrimages and said it was deplorable to announce “fanciful financial plans” ahead of elections.

“There are frequent abuses of religion for political purposes through highly publicized blessing ceremonies and offers of free pilgrimages. Calling on people to take money but vote for oneself is grossly inappropriate and illegal” , did he declare.

“The floating of fanciful financial plans that cannot be honored is highly deplorable, all the more so when the state itself is in debt. Projecting electoral faces on the basis of caste and community is contrary to the letter and in the spirit of our Constitution,” he added.

The Council also urged voters in Goa to vote after being “aware of the possibility of communal and fascist forces camouflaged behind the labels of political alternatives”.

“The peculiarity this time is that there is a lot of choice; parties with national ambitions are there to increase their percentages of votes, in order to obtain national recognition, even by recklessly dividing secular votes. We must be aware of the possibility of communal and fascist forces camouflaged behind the labels of political alternatives,” Fernandes said.

“Let us not be manipulated by political experiments, electoral adventurism and deceptive propaganda. We have joined the mainstream of national life for a long time. We must remain in the national mainstream in a stable and secular dispensation,” he said. he added.

Catholics make up almost 26% of Goa’s population.

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