Religious organisations across the ideological divide welcomed the Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday barring political parties and candidates from seeking votes in the name of religion, caste, community, race or language.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) said politics based on caste, community and religion had harmed the country.
“We welcome the decision of the Supreme Court,” VHP international general secretary Surendra Jain said. He said “national integration has also been damaged by this practice”.
“Vote bank politics should be curbed by this decision. This judgement may prove a landmark in nation-building,” the VHP leader added.
Jamat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) said the prohibition to use religion to garner votes should be strictly implemented. “Although the Supreme Court ruling was not something new as the existing law already bars people from stoking communal sentiments to get votes, but now this order should be implemented in letter and spirit,” JIH secretary general Mohammed Salim Engineer said.
He said the Supreme Court taking notice of it was an evidence of the fact that such practice by political parties and candidates had been “rampant”.
The apex court on Monday said seeking votes on the basis of caste, community, religion or language was illegal.
A constitution bench headed by chief justice TS Thakur by a 4:3 majority passed the order on the basis of Section 123(3) of the Representation of People’s Act.