Parrikar dodges questions on Catholic minister`s Modi remarks
Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday dodged questions about a controversy stirred by his deputy Francis D`Souza, a Catholic, who last week insisted the minorities have apprehensions about BJP`s prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi.
An irritated Parrikar said he would not reply to comments made by "someone else".
"You ask him... I will not answer you," Parrikar said, even as the Bharatiya Janata Party in Goa is struggling to cope with the damage caused by D`Souza` comments.
D`Souza, one of the BJP`s seniormost Christian legislators, said at a press conference last week that minorities have apprehensions against Modi and will continue to harbour them in the future.
"Minorities will have an apprehension. It will always be there," D`Souza said in response to queries if minority communities would accept BJP`s prime ministerial candidate Modi, who in the past has been accused of hard-line right wing politics.
D`Souza has been with the BJP in Goa for more than a decade.
He was one of the few party leaders who had expressed apprehensions after Modi`s nomination as the party`s campaign chief during the national executive held in Goa last year.
D`Souza`s comments, coupled with a "vote for secular" directive to the 27 percent Christian population in Goa issued by the Goa Church has come as a shock for the BJP.
The state sends two MPs to the Lok Sabha.
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