The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Goa has defended a Christian priest who is under scanner of election authorities for alleged hate speech. The party, contesting the Lok Sabha polls in the coastal state, said there was nothing “objectionable” in what the Christian priest has said, and accused the BJP of “spreading communal hatred and divisiveness”.
The priest courted controversy after a video of his speech, in which he is seen strongly criticising the BJP, its president Amit Shah, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and late Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, went viral on social media.
The Goa BJP had lodged a complaint against the priest on Sunday even as South Goa District Election Officer Ajit Roy launched an inquiry into the matter.
The Goa Church, which wields considerable influence among community members, has expressed regret over the priest’s statement and asked him to refrain from making such remarks.
However, Goa AAP convener Elvis Gomes has come out in support of the priest.
“What’s wrong in that? I personally don’t see anything wrong in that. I don’t think anything that is there in the video is objectionable,” Gomes said.
“Every day you hear news about BJP spreading communal hatred and divisiveness in the society. They are into that,” said the former bureaucrat, attacking the saffron outfit.
“Recently, the BJP president himself said infiltratorswould be thrown out of the country. Who are theseinfiltrators? Apart from Hindus and Sikhs rest all areinfiltrators,” he said.
Gomes is the AAP candidate from the South Goa parliamentary constituency.