Panaji (Goa) [India], April 19 (ANI): Reacting to Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant's remarks on religious conversions in the state, Congress leader Michael Lobo alleged on Monday that by making such statements Sawant was trying to polarize one section of the society.
Lobo stated that Sawant's remarks are unwarranted and have sent a 'very negative message to the people of the state, adding that he needs to withdraw his statement.
"Pramod Sawant's statement (that religious conversion shouldn't happen; govt will never allow it) as a CM was not required & unwarranted & he needs to withdraw it...he's trying to polarize one section of the society; needs to take everyone along," said Lobo while speaking to ANI yesterday.
"What he is saying is not right. There is no religious conversion happening in Goa. He should show me where conversions are taking place. I will accompany him. Let him show me that there are conversions going on," said the Congress leader.
"He has made the statement maybe to please his bosses. He has disturbed the people of Goa by giving such a statement. It has gone down in a very negative way. His statement has sent a very wrong message to the people of the state," the Congress leader added.
Lobo's remarks came after Sawant on Monday said that the religious conversions are increasing in Goa and marginalised people are being targeted, adding that his government would not allow such conversion to take place in the state.
"I am not telling lies but, in various parts of Goa today, people are stepping up conversions. And various people are trying to take advantage of trying circumstances... someone is poor, someone is in a minority, someone is backward, doesn't have food, doesn't have a job..." said Sawant at a function at the Kudne village in North Goa district.
"I am saying that such religious conversions should not take place... the government will never allow conversions to take place, but I believe the people need to awaken, the temple in each village needs to awaken, small temple communities need to awaken," Sawant added.
He further said that we have to remind future generations of the rites and rituals of these temples. (ANI)