Mangaluru: A group of Christian community members has condemned statements made by a few political leaders which said that independent candidates from the Christian community had resulted in the defeat of Congress party candidates in the recently-concluded Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) election.
Karavali Konkans President Leslie Rego told mediapersons here on Saturday, November 23, that the Christian community always wants good of others and wants harmonious coexistence along with maintaining peace. “We are not backing any political party and we support when there is an honest and deserved candidate in the fray. It is wrong to assume that the Christian community will cast their votes for one single political party and that they (Christians) will not contest in the election as an independent candidate. However, some political leaders are indulging in giving statements that the contest of independent candidates from the Christian community led to the defeat of their candidates, which has pained us a lot,” he said.
“Leaders of Catholic community like J M Lobo Prabhu, George Fernandes, Oscar Fernandes, Eva Vaz, J H Rodrigues, Margaret Alva, Octavia Albuquerque, Winnifred Fernandes, P M Castelino, Blasius D’Souza, and others, have emerged as strong leaders and they served our country. We have great respect for such leaders. There are a lot of instances wherein our community leaders have served in other sectors as well,” he added.
Rego questioned the political leaders as to how they could expect an entire Christian community to stay committed to a particular party. “Every individual has a constitutional right to choose the candidates of their choice. Any person who is eligible to contest in an election has the right to do so through political parties or independently. Hence, leaders should not blame the Christian community for anybody’s defeat,” he stressed.
Pointing out the current scenario, wherein people in the same family are split into different political parties, Rego questioned, “How one can one expect our community to support the same party? No one can expect the votes of a particular community to be reserved for a particular party. When a good candidate is in the fray, we will support him by cutting across party lines,” he said.
All India Christian Union president Lancy D’Cunha, Catholic Sabha Mangaluru Pradesh president, Paul Rolphi D’Souza, Mangaluru Diocese Secretary M P Noronha, Rachana (Catholic Chamber of Commerce and Industries) President Elias Sanctis, and others were present.