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(Compass) – Christians in India hailed the victory of Sonia Gandhi’s Congress Party in this month’s general election as a triumph for religious freedom. However on May 18, five days after the election results were announced, supporters of the former government launched a propaganda campaign against Gandhi, claiming that as an Italian-born Roman Catholic she would support the conversion of Hindus to Christianity. In a surprise move on the same day, Gandhi resigned from party leadership, nominating former finance minister Manmohan Singh as her replacement. While bitterly disappointed at Gandhi’s resignation, Christians throughout India continued to celebrate. “Civil society is now looking forward to the rejection of the Hindutva (Hindu nation) agenda that has affected many areas of Indian life,” said Dr. Joseph D’Souza, president of the All India Christian Council. “A national anti-conversion law is now out of the question.”