PANJIM: The parish priest of Raia has offered an unconditional apology Wednesday over the alleged hate speech given against the Bharatiya Janata Party. The apology comes a day after Goa Church expressed “regret” over the controversial statements made during the sermon.
A video of parish priest Father Conceicao D`Silva addressing people inside Raia church in South Goa went viral on social media. In the clip, the priest is seen speaking in Konkani and criticising the BJP party president Amit Shah, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and late Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar.
The Election Commission also warned the priest not to repeat such things in future.
It is regretted that the Parish Priest of Raia, while addressing his parishioners recently, has made some objectionable statements about a specific political party as well as individuals of that party," Goa Diocesan Centre for Social Communications Media said in a statement.
"Before elections to the Assembly or Parliament, the Church in Goa issues guidelines to its priests to encourage their parishioners to fulfill their duty to vote for the candidate or party that will better safeguard the interests of our state and nation," it said.
The Goa Church also said that priests have been advised not to mention in public any names of candidates or political parties.
"The concerned priest in this case has been cautioned to refrain from making such statements," the statement said.
The Goa BJP unit lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against the priest on Sunday for "creating an atmosphere of hate & fear against a particular political party & a specific religion" in an address inside a religious institution. A local resident also filed a complaint against the speech alleging it violated the model code of conduct (MCC).
Following the complaints, the poll panel launched an enquiry.
Polling will be held for the two Lok Sabha seats in Goa on April 23.