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Goa plans advisory body on Muslim, Christian issues

Goa,Politics, Mon, 02 Apr 2012 IANS

Panaji, April 2 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition government in Goa is planning to set up a minority advisory council, which will sift through the demands of Muslims and Christians, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said here Monday.

 

According to him, the council would be set up by May.

 

"We should be in a position to set up an advisory council in May. It will have members of the Catholic and Muslim communities," Parrikar said Monday.

 

"The council will meet twice a month with the government, and advise on matters related to minority communities," Parrikar said.

 

The simple majority to the BJP in the 40-member Goa legislative assembly in the April elections have been credited to a social engineering exercise by the chief minister, who wooed the state's 26 percent Christian minority ahead of the March polls.

 

The BJP, which contested 28 seats, had fielded six Christian candidates and backed two other Christian independent candidates. The party has already allotted two cabinet berths to the Catholics, and has also promised to induct an independent minority legislator in the first round of expansion.

 

The BJP now aims to focus its attention on the nearly seven percent strong Muslim population, who have traditionally kept the saffron party at an arm's length.

 

In an emotional pitch to Muslim community members at a public function in Panaji last week, Parrikar said the community could "kick" the BJP out of power after five years if he did not deliver good governance, adequate jobs and "respect" to them.

 

"In five years I assure you not just a good government and representative jobs, most importantly, I assure you that the government will accord the community a sense of respect. If the BJP does a good job, vote for us, if we don't, kick us out," Parrikar said.

 


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