VASCO: Two ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators belonging to minorities Alina Saldanha and Carlos Almeida from Mormugao taluka have expressed their views over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) two days after Goa and Daman Archbishop Filip Neri Ferrao appealed to the government to revoke the CAA and to desist from implementing the National Population Register (NPR) and the National Registry of Citizens (NRC).
Cortalim MLA Alina Saldanha has mantained that there should be a dialogue between representatives of Church and the Goa government while, Vasco MLA Carlos Almeida has claimed that he will go by the stand taken by the party over the CAA.
Incidentally both these MLAs had not expressed their views when congratulatory motion was passed by the Goa Assembly on February 3, congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and both Houses of Parliament for passing the CAA.
Now reacting to the stand taken by the Goa Church, Alina said that there should be a dialogue between representatives of the Church and the Goa government on the CAA issue.
According to Alina, the Church of Goa, from times immemorial had always taken a stand on various issues related to the State, the people of Goa and the country at large. CAA was an issue that was presently being debated upon at all levels of the country, for a long time now. Finally the Church of Goa had publicly stated its stand on the CAA and NPR,. she added.
Stating that freedom of speech was a democratic right and since the government feels that all was not right with the Church's stand vis-a-vis CAA, Alina said that there was an urgent need for dialogue between the representatives of the Church and the State government. This dialogue was vital to find a solution which was so important to save the secular fabric of the State. There had to be more dialogue and more clarity between the two and if there were any questions that require answers then those questions need to be answered, she said.
On the other hand, Vasco MLA Carlos Almeida claimed that he was a staunch BJP man and will fully go by what the party decides.
Almeida said that whatever Panchayat Minister Mauvin Godinho stated on Sunday was partially correct though not and fully. Similarly Goa Archbishop had got the right to look after his folks and the right to guide his followers. He reiterated that he was BJP MLA and would go by what the party decides.
However, the Vasco MLA was also of the opinion that the CAA issue had to be discussed and had to be clarified by the government and convince the people that it was for the benefit of all.