05/16/2009, 00.00
INDIA
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Orissa, Patnaik wins: a vote against hindu extremism

Biju Janata Dal wins the states majority in parliament. For Sajan George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians, it’s a vote against Hindu extremism. Now the new government must “deliver justice to the Christians of Kandhamal”.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – The party of the outgoing governor Navin Patnaik (see photo) wins by a landslide in Orissa and the Bharatiya Janata Party (Bjp) is defeated. The electoral earthquake that is taking shape in the victory of the United Progressive Alliance (Upa) and Congress takes on a new significance in the state sadly infamous for anti-Christian violence.

The people of Orissa were called to choose their representatives for the Lok Sabha, the National parliament and also for their state assembly.  They chose the Biju Janata Dal (Bjd) led by Patnaik to whom exit polls have adjudicated 100 of the 147 available seats in the National Assembly.

Reached by AsiaNews, Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (Gcic), affirms that the vote has awarded Patnaik’s decision to break with Bharatiya Janata Party a few months ahead of the elections. A risky decision that rocked the Orissa government ahead of the National vote forcing Patnaik to find a new majority without Bjp support.  The ballot box however, proved him right and now he is in no need of uncomfortable coalitions.

“Cutting ties with the BJP on the issue of Kandhamal has reaped rich dividends for Patnaik” said George. The now confirmed governor had been widely criticised for his inaction over the anti-Christian violence in the state and particularly in Khandamal. The local Christian community was highly critical of his failure to stand up to Hindu extremists for fear of his ally Bjp.

The Gcic president says he now expects that “since the hands of Patnaik are freed, he can now uphold the Constitution and take steps to for Justice to our Kandhamal Christians”.

According to Gerorge the Orissa vote is a clear rejection of the extremism of nationalist movements:  “the Indian voter has decided against their communal agenda”.

(NC)

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