Former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Sunday likened the betrayal of 10 Goa Congress MLAs who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2019 to Judas’ betrayal of Jesus Christ in the Biblical times.
Speaking at a party function in the Catholic dominated St. Andre Assembly constituency in North Goa, the All India Congress Committee’s senior observer for the 2022 Assembly polls, also said that while the party forgave those who betrayed the Congress, it would never forget what they have done.
“Betrayal has been with human civilization since the year 2000. 2,000 years ago. The first great betrayal was when Judas betrayed Jesus. We have had many many instances of betrayal,” Chidambaram said at the function.
“All I can say is, I am very sorry, I apologise for that betrayal, please put that behind us and let us move forward with the determination that this time we will have a candidate who will remain loyal to the party, whether the party forms a government or does not form a government. I am confident we will form a government,” the former Union Home Minister also said.
St. Andre is a traditional Congress bastion, but in 2019 Francis Silveira the local Congress MLA was one of the 10 legislators who split the Congress and merged the breakaway group into the BJP.
Chidambaram, who is in Goa on a three-day visit to oversee the party’s preparations for the upcoming polls, also said that the party will not forget betrayal by its MLAs.
“I know what happened here in 2017. People feel betrayed Workers have not betrayed the party, the elected MLAs have betrayed the party. We cannot forget that betrayal. God has asked us to forgive our enemies. We will forgive them, we cannot forget what they have done,” Chidambaram also said.
Since 2017, 13 elected Congress MLAs have joined the BJP.