Indian Catholic News

Bharatiya Janata Party fields five Christian candidates in Goa

Several Catholic leaders have joined BJP in the run-up to the polls..


Five Christians are among the list of 22 candidates announced by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the upcoming assembly elections in Goa.

The BJP's Central Election Committee had met in Delhi last night to finalise the first list of candidates for the state.

Mathany Saldanha, former tourism minister, will be in the fray from Cortalim constituency.

He is pitted against Caetan Xavier, a Catholic leader of the Congress party in the Christian-dominated constituency.

Glen Ticlo, an entrepreneur, has been fielded from Aldona against Congress' Dayanand Narvekar, a former state finance minister.

Carlose Almeida, who recently joined BJP, has been nominated from Vasco.

The party's sitting legislator from Mapusa Francis D'Souza has been given a ticket while Calangute, a major tourism hub, will have another Catholic candidate Micheal Lobo. He is pitted against sitting Congress MLA Agnelo Fernandes.

In the run up to the polls, several Catholic leaders have joined BJP which is going to the polls under the leadership of former chief minister and current leader of opposition in the state assembly Manohar Parrikar.

"There has been no sustained attempt to get Catholics join the party. In fact, so many people joining the party indicates that BJP is getting more popular in the state," BJP Goa spokesman Vishnu Wagh said.

BJP has a pre-poll alliance with regional outfit Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party which once ruled the state.

Catholics constitute a substantial 27 per cent of state's 1400,000 population.

Polling in all 40 constituencies of the state is scheduled for March 3.

Source: The Economic Times

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