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Cast votes to those who ensure minority rights: Church

india Updated: Mar 29, 2009 13:05 IST

The Catholic church in Kerala on Sunday asked the people to cast their vote to those parties, which are committed to protecting 'secularism and minority rights´.

In a pastoral letter, which was read out in all the churches in the state on Sunday, the head of the three Catholic rites - Syro Malabar church Major Archbishop Cardinal Mar Varkey Vithayathil, Verapoly Archbishop Daniel Acharuparambil and Malankara church head Baselios Cleemis Catholicose - said the faithful should cast their votes judiciously in the April 16 elections to ensure that a secular government comes to power at the Centre.

The democratic secular framework of India is threatened by forces which are inimical to the very Constitution of India.

Certain parties and ideologies are threatening the constitutional rights of individuals and communities, it said.

"There are certain tendencies in certain northern districts of Kerala, threatening the democratic framework of our life. Voters must be vigilant about these unconstitutional and undemocratic tendencies," the letter said.

The people are also asked to uphold parties and candidates who protect the rights of minorities, Dalits and tribals and backward communities and individual rights, including that of the right to be born, right to life as against abortion and euthanasia.