05/27/2019, 17.09
INDIA
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Indian Church congratulates Modi, pledges to work together

The Bharatiya Janata Party won an absolute majority in the lower house. Card Oswald Gracias calls on the government to meet the needs of young people, women, farmers and the poor. Protestant Churches also send their message of good wishes.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) – The Catholic Church of Indian congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his victory in the country’s general election and expressed its eagerness to work together for the sake of the country.

Card Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai and President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), issued a letter last Saturday. In it, he writes: “On behalf of the Catholic Church in India, and on my own behalf, I extend my heartiest congratulations to you and to the Bharatiya Janata Party on the emphatic election victory. The people of India have given a clear mandate for a stable and effective Government. My congratulations to the President of the Bharatiya Janata Party Mr. Amit Shah.”

The final results on 23 May and show an overwhelming victory for the Prime Minister’s party. In all, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 303 seats in the Lok Sabha (lower House of Parliament) out of a total of 543. In previous election (2014), it had won 282. The main opposition party, the Indian National Congress of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, won only 52 seats (six more than in the previous elections).

Addressing the prime minister and his government, the cardinal goes on to say: “I want to assure you of our prayers and best wishes for you and your team as you lead our country in building a strong and inclusive India.” At a public function held on Friday, He noted that “we prayed that God give you health, wisdom and strength to carry out the great responsibilities entrusted to you.

The CBCI president also focused on some areas that need to me addressed immediately.  “We are all eager to work together for the vision of a New India which your Excellency has spoken about - a New India which gives hope and energy to our youth, empowers our women especially in rural areas, opens new and sustainable opportunities for our farmers and strengthens our economy while leaving no one behind: a New India which enjoys peace and prosperity and continues to make progress.”

Protestant Christians added their voice to the cardinal’s in expressing best wishes to the prime minister. “As the Bible commands, you and your government will be in our prayers during the next [. . .] years, and we pray that peace and prosperity and freedom will increase under your rule,” writes the Most Reverend Joseph D’Souza, Archbishop of the Good Shepherd Church of India and President of the All India Christian Council.

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