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After Muslims, BJP taps into Christian vote bank

Faizan Haidar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 13, 2013
First Published: 01:38 IST(13/10/2013) | Last Updated: 01:43 IST(13/10/2013)

The Christian community has largely remained off the radar of the political parties in the run-up to the Delhi elections so far. But not any more.

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After trying its hand at wooing the Muslim community, the BJP has now decided to focus its attention to the Christians in the city. On Friday, the minority cell of the party held a meeting with representatives from 30 churches and asked them to mobilise voters.

The party is also planning to hold a seminar with 250 church leaders and assure them that it will fulfill all their demands, if it came to power in Delhi.

“There’s a sizeable Christian population in the Capital and yet no political party even gives us a thought. We want representatives of our community in the government but so far no party has done anything for us. Now the BJP has assured us of the same,” said George Thomas, a member of Church India who has now joined the BJP as the secretary of its minority cell.  

According to Thomas, there are nearly 8-10 lakh Christian voters in Delhi who can make a difference to the fortunes of the parties. “We are planning to hold a seminar on October 23 and have invited clergies from across the city. We will be telling them about our plans and would like to know what the community expects from government. Every clergy has at least 100 members of the community associated with him and tapping a clergy means his supporters would also back us,” Thomas explained.

According to sources, the idea is to reach out to people who have a mass appeal and connect to the general public. The party has already appointed district-level members from the Christian community who have begun holding small meetings and urging locals to join the BJP.

“Clergies interact with masses everyday and hence workers have been asked to meet with them and discuss BJP’s vision. Once these interactions are over, they will be asked to hold meetings at a bigger level,” said a senior BJP leader.

“When we talk about minority, it is not only Muslims but Christians too who are  suffering under the current government. We have assured them of every possible help if we come to power,” said Atif Rasheed, president of Delhi BJP’s minority cell.

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