While challenging his “good governance” claim, the Council of Social Justice and Peace (CSJP) also hinted that communal and corporate forces had “infiltrated” India’s secular fabric.
In a public pledge issued to voters in Goa, the group, which subtly backed the Bharatiya Janata Party in the 2012 assembly polls, also accused Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s government of “misgovernance”.
And like past governments, the Parrikar government also had “a tendency towards corruption”, it said.
The CSJP appeal does not take names but it drops enough hints to suggest who the message is really for.
“Sadly, in the past few years, the ‘Secular Spirit’ has been infiltrated by corporate communal forces visible even in Goa,” it said.
“It is convincingly apparent that the election campaign, supported by the media, is geared towards the promotion of one individual as if this is a presidential election,” it said while appealing for a ‘secular vote’.
The pledge issued by CSJP executive secretary Fr. Savio Fernandes also makes a none too veiled reference about how senior military and intelligence officers have joined political parties in the recent past.
“The secular democratic system is subtly corrupted when senior intelligence and defence personnel, on retirement, join select political Parties professing them to be the only nationalist parties,” the appeal said.
It accused Parrikar of failing to curb corruption despite making lofty claims.
It also said that the BJP’s claim of good governance, especially in states like Gujarat and Goa, were in fact myths.
With Catholics accounting for a little less than a third of Goa’s population, the Church has significant socio-political clout in the state.