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BJP slams Archbishop for letter

New Delhi, May 22: The Central government on Tuesday said India is safe for minorities while the BJP virtually attacked the Archbishop of Delhi, saying no one should speak to mobilise people on the basis of religion. The remarks came after a letter from Archbishop Anil Joseph Couto talked about the “turbulent political atmosphere” in the country. The Archbishop in his May 8 letter asked the priests and churches in Delhi to hold a year-long prayer campaign for the country to protect its democratic principles and secular fabric ahead of the 2019 general elections “when we will have new government”. “No one should speak to mobilise the people of the country on the basis of religion,” BJP President Amit Shah told reporters here.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said India is safe for minorities and no one is allowed to discriminate on the basis of religion. “I have not seen the letter, but I want to say India is one of those countries in the world where no discrimination happens on the basis of caste, religion and faith, and nobody can be allowed to discriminate,” he told reporters.

While Minorities Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi asked the Archbishop to “shed his prejudiced mindset against the Modi government”, Union Tourism Minister K.J. Alphons said the views expressed in the letter were Archbishop’s personal opinion and that no other Bishop supported his views. “This is Archbishop’s personal opinion. The head of Catholic Bishops in India says that he supports Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This government has done more for the poor and minorities. No other Bishop has come in support of Delhi Archbishop,” Alphons told reporters. Naqvi said minorities had made fast progress in the last four years of BJP government. In the controversial letter, the Archbishop said: “We are witnessing a turbulent political atmosphere which poses a threat to the democratic principles enshrined in our Constitution and the secular fabric of our nation.” (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita