Panaji: Two BJP legislators in Goa on Thursday came out openly against the 'ghar wapsi' programme, with one of them, a Christian, announcing that he will be the first to oppose any reconversion if the agenda is implemented in the state.
Nilesh Cabral and Vishnu Wagh, Bharatiya Janata Party members from Curchorem and St. Andre, respectively, said this in the assembly during a discussion on the motion of thanks to the governor's address.
"If anyone starts 'ghar wapsi', I will be there to oppose it first. Goa is not a communal state. This kind of behaviour should not occur during elections," Cabral said.
Wagh said communal flare-ups outside the state were causing tension between the minority community and the BJP-led coalition government in Goa.
"'Ghar wapsi' happens in Uttar Pradesh, and it creates an issue in Goa. Beef is banned in Maharashtra and similarly the issue triggers a flare-up in Goa," Wagh said, adding that people in Goa were beginning to get upset with the BJP because of such incidents.
'Ghar wapsi' is a campaign being run by Hindu organisations, including the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which aims at actively reconverting members of the minority communities back to Hinduism.
"Today outside Goa, some groups are responsible for making comments which are affecting the minority community here. There is talk of building a temple of Nathuram Godse, of banning cattle slaughter and we see a ripple effect in Goa," Wagh said.
He further said one of the key reasons why the BJP was elected to power was the support of the minority community. Both Christians and Muslims account for nearly a third of the state's population.
"The Goa government came to power because the minority supported us. We should remember that," Wagh said.