Panaji: Minority community in Goa has shed its inhibitions towards the BJP and is no more averse to support the saffron party in elections, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said on Monday.
He also said a "false perception" is being deliberately created during every election that Church has opposed BJP.
"During every election, an impression is created that Church is against us. Church is a religious institution and I would not like to comment on it. But one thing is sure that a few years back, minority brethren were suspicious about BJP and were staying away," Parsekar told reporters.
Interestingly, the Goa Church on Sunday expressed its concern over the government's push for cashless transactions, saying the Centre has "shifted" from its social policy of uplift of the poor by insisting on the digital transition.
The CM, contesting the 4 February elections from his pocket borough Mandrem, said the minorities have started having a "positive outlook" towards BJP.
"In the past, I had a personal experience in my own constituency. Initially, I failed to even open an account in the booths in minority-dominated wards. But it has changed. The situation was different in 2007...I got majority on those booths," he said, adding the minorities have started trusting the saffron party.
For total 40 seats going to polls on 4 February, the BJP has fielded its candidates on 36 seats and is supporting Independent nominees in two constituencies.
Parsekar said incumbent deputy Chief Minister Francis D'Souza was the first candidate from minority community to accept our candidature and became part of the government.
"After that several leaders from minority accepted our candidature. They were even with us in the government for five years," he said.
On the BJP refraining from projecting him as the Chief Ministerial face for the polls, Parsekar said he was never projected as the probable candidate even during the past.
Parsekar replaced Manohar Parrikar as CM after the latter was made Defence Minister.
"I became CM and ran the government for more than two years. I don't want to answer someone's criticism. The election for the post of CM would be held democratically. Let us get the majority after that the elected representatives will decide on the CM candidate," he said.
Union minister and BJP's election in-charge in Goa, Nitin Gadkari recently caused a flutter when he said the next chief minister of Goa would be either from elected representatives or would be sent from the Centre, triggering speculations that he was pointing at Parrikar, a Goan.
Updated Date: Jan 25, 2017 09:13 AM