Stung by the appeal made by Archbishop of Goa and Daman Filipe Neri Ferrao to the government to repeal the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and desist from implementing the National Population Register and National Register of Citizens, senior minister in the BJP-led state government Mauvin Godinho on Sunday said that a religious head has got “no right to interfere” in the matter.
Interacting with media persons in Panaji, Godinho said, “…No religious head has got a right to interfere in the governance of a state or a country, or to comment as that will take opposition on a communal basis.”
“They (religious heads) should not even be indirectly seen as inciting some sort of communal pressure. They should not be seen as doing that…, this is wrong,” he added.
In his message issued on Saturday through the Diocesan
Centre for Social Communications Media, the archbishop had observed that the
expressions of widespread discontent and open protests taking place throughout the country, and even abroad, with regard to the CAA as well as the proposed NRC and NPR are causing great concerns and anguish to millions of Indians spread throughout the globe.
Godinho, who is one of the 15 BJP MLAs from the minority community, maintained, “The intention behind that may be very good. However, it is totally wrong… What is wrong is wrong. A spade is a spade.”
Earlier in the day, in a series of tweets, commissioner for NRI affairs and former BJP MP Narendra Sawaikar also took on the Church in Goa.
What was the need for the archbishop to oppose the CAA when it has been challenged in the Supreme Court, Sawaikar asked.
In one of the tweets he wrote, “(The) archbishop says that #CAA should be withdrawn as it is being opposed. My question is: why? When crores of people are supporting #CAA including Goans.”