The stakes are high in latest election battle being fought in Gujarat. The BJP has released its fifth list of 13 candidates for the 182-member Gujarat Assembly election, which will be held in two phases on December 9 and 14. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will kick off BJP’s campaign on November and will address eight rallies in Saurashtra, Kutch and South Gujarat regions, on November 27 and November 29. While 89 seats of Saurashtra and South Gujarat region will go to polls in the first phase, the election in the remaining 93 constituencies in central and northern regions will be held in the second phase.
Ahead of Gujarat elections, the Archdiocese of Gandhinagar archbishop Thomas Macwan has appealed to the Christian community in the state “to help save the country from nationalist forces”.
In his letter, which political analysts believe to be against the ruling BJP, Macwan appealed to the minority community to help elect those candidates, who respect every human being without discrimination, to the state Assembly.
He said the nationalist forces were “on the verge of taking over the country”, which is why the Gujarat elections could make a difference.
The letter, which carries the signature of Thomas Macwan dated November 21, appealed to the Christians to organise prayer services in parishes and convents “so that we may have such people elected to the Gujarat Assembly, who would remain faithful to the Indian Constitution and respect every human being without any sort of discrimination”.
“The dates of Gujarat Assembly have been announced. The results of this election are significant and it will have its repercussion and reverberation throughout out beloved nation. It will influence the future course of our country,” the letter reads.
“We are aware that the secular and democratic fabric of our country is at take. Not a single day goes without an attack on our churches, church personnel, faithful or institutions,” it further reads.
“The recitation of the Holy Rosary at individual, community, family and parish levels will be of great help. Encourage your faithful to pray the Rosary,” he said.
Christians in Gujarat comprises of only 2-3 per cent of its total population. They have been traditionally known to have backed the Congress in state elections.
This time the BJP hopes to be re-elected for a fifth straight term, while the Congress is campaigning hard to try and reverse the trend.