11/30/2018, 09.50
INDIA
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Elections in Madhya Pradesh: Christians blocked at the polls

by Nirmala Carvalho

Msgr. Leo Cornelio, bishop of Bhopal, is among those who have not been able to cast their vote. Christians want to make an official complaint. The suspicions fall on the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Hundreds of Christians in Madhya Pradesh were rejected at the polls last November 28, when seats for the renewal of the Assembly were open throughout the Indian state.

 Among the voters who were prevented from voting, was also Msgr. Leo Cornelio, bishop of Bhopal, who tells AsiaNews: "I went to the polls. After waiting 45 minutes outside the seat, I was denied the right to vote, even though I showed my electoral card. I do not know if my name was deliberately deleted from the lists, but then I learned that even the names so many other members of minorities did not appear on the lists. I will report to the Electoral Commission ".

Christians are thinking of presenting an application for the opening of an official investigation into the affair. Last November 28 when, as the voters of all the other religions, they went to the polls to choose the 230 members of the State Assembly. However, their names were missing from electoral lists, so they were forced to return home without being able to express their preference.

Speaking to the local press, Msgr. Cornelio said: "It is not fair and it is not a good sign for democracy. It launches a hard message to the Christian community, namely that it is not even considered ".

According to Christian leaders, behind the story there would be a "disgusting plan" to prevent the faithful from voting. They suspect the direct involvement of the Hindu nationalist party Bjp (Bharatiya Janata Party) that has governed the state for 15 years, to avoid an electoral advancement of the rival Congress Party, which Christians usually prefer to vote.

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