Hundreds of Christians Denied Vote in State Election in India
11/29/2018 India (International Christian Concern) – Hundreds of Christians in India’s Madhya Pradesh state were turned away from voting booths because their names were no longer on the voter list. This included a Catholic Archbishop and a former member of the Madhya Pradesh State Minorities Commission.
Local Christian leaders claim their names were deliberately purged from the voter list by members of the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has ruled the state for the past 15 years. Many were turned away from the voting booths even though they were able to produce election identity cards and other relevant documents.
“I am sure my name was deliberately deleted from the voter list,” Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal told ucanews.com. “This is a stern message to the Christian community that they are no more in the reckoning.”
Indira Iyengar, a Christian and former member of the Madhya Pradesh State Minorities Commission, also had her name deleted from the voter list. “It is a well-known fact that I am a member of the Congress Party and my vote will never go to any other party,” Iyengar told ucanews.com. “Therefore, my name was struck out.”
Christians make up only a tiny percentage (0.29%) of Madhya Pradesh’s population of 73 million. Radical Hindu nationalists and some fringe BJP candidates have publically labelled Indian Christians as anti-nationals and followers of a foreign religion.
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