Panaji, July 26 IANS | 5 months ago

The Congress Saturday demanded the dismissal of Goa cabinet minister Deepak Dhavalikar and Deputy Chief Minister Francis D'Souza for making "unconstitutional" remarks about India as a Hindu nation.

Congress state president John Fernandes also criticised his own party MLAs for not faulting Dhavalikar immediately after his controversial comments made on the floor of the state assembly Thursday.

"We will be presenting a memorandum to the Goa governor demanding the dismissal of the two ministers over their comments. If that fails, we will also seek legal recourse to drop the two ministers, who have sworn to abide by the constitution," Fernandes said.

Fernandes' comments came after the two Goan ministers made national headlines over their remarks related to India as a Hindu nation.

D'Souza on Friday had said: "India is a Hindu country. It is Hindustan. All Indians in Hindustan are Hindus, including me, I am a Christian Hindu."

D'Souza is one of the senior-most minority members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Goa and has been the party's poster-boy as far as the Christian community is concerned.

Christians account for nearly 26 percent of the state's population.

On Thursday Dhavalikar while speaking during a congratulatory motion in the state legislature had said India could well be on a path to becoming a Hindu nation under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Both comments had triggered an uproar in the nationally as well as in the state's political and social circles, with the Congress legislature wing even staging walkout in the state legislative assembly Friday in protest against the Hindu Nation remark.

Fernandes, however, said he expected more from his legislators.

Asked why the Congress legislature party waited to raise the issue only after an outcry in the media, Fernandes said: "Yes, they should have been more vigilant. They should have raised the issue immediately after he (Dhavalikar) said it."

(Posted on 26-07-2014)

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