02/10/2015, 00.00
INDIA

Archbishop of Delhi: The people voted against Modi and the political use of religion

Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP, anti-corruption) have swept the elections in Delhi. For the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) this is the first major defeat since the election of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister. Msgr. Couto to AsiaNews: "The result is the sign of the frustration of all the people of India."

New Delhi (AsiaNews) - "The people of Delhi voted against the BJP and its attempt to polarize the voters in the name of religion. The result of these elections is a message to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi: he should think seriously about his behavior", says Msgr. Anil Joseph Thomas Couto, Archbishop of Delhi, commenting to AsiaNews on the outcome of the vote in the federal territory. As predicted by many exit polls, the anti-corruption Aam Aadmi Party (AAP, "the common man") won and its leader Arvind Kejriwal will be the new chief minister of Delhi.

The AAP has obtained an overwhelming majority winning 63 seats out of 70. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, the Hindu nationalist) - the Party at the helm of the central government of India - was left with only six seats. The prime minister Narendra Modi has conceded defeat, congratulated Kejriwal and promised him his full support.

This is the first major defeat for the BJP since the general elections in 2014, which had decreed the victory of the party and the election of Modi as Prime Minister of India.

"These elections - underlines Msgr. Couto AsiaNews - were negatively affected by the attacks on churches. Five attacks on five different churches and the BJP, which was in power, stood by in silence. What's worse, it said that what happened was normal, that in many other places similar incidents were happening".

Faced with the government's silence, the prelate recalls, "the Christian community wanted to express their anguish rallying for a peaceful march in front of the Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi. It was a peaceful and prayerful encounter, but the police came and dragged children, women, priests and nuns away by force. A gesture that the whole country has condemned".

According to the Archbishop of Delhi, "the result is a vote for change. Even after eight months, the Modi government has failed to act well, nor has it fulfilled its promises. The people of Delhi are disappointed and that's why they wanted to give Arwind Kejriwal a chance as the new chief minister. Moreover, the majority of the population here is well educated and come from all over the country. People have the pulse of the situation, on their States: their vote also shows the frustration of the people of India about the central government's behavior".

 

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