Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today came out in support of the Delhi archbishop, who has stated in a letter that a “turbulent political atmosphere” posed a threat to India’s democratic principles and secular fabric, saying whatever the religious leader has said “is a fact”.
Anil Couto, the archbishop of Delhi, in the letter to all parish priests and religious institutions in Delhi archdiocese has also appealed to the followers of his faith to launch a “prayer campaign” ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Without advocating any candidate or party, he has urged all priests to “pray for the country” ahead of the 2019 polls.
“I think whatever he has said was correct. It is a fact,” Banerjee, who has often criticised the BJP-led government at the Centre, told reporters at the state secretariat here.
“We have great regard and respect for all communities, caste and creed. We respect all archbishops in the country,” she added.
Her support for the archbishop came shortly after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi said India does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of religion or sect. Singh said such things will never be allowed in the country.
“I have not seen the (archbishop’s) statement verbatim but all I can say is that India is a country where there is no discrimination against anyone on the basis of caste, sect or religion. Such a thing cannot be allowed,” Singh said.
Couto’s letter was dated May 8, days before the Karnataka assembly elections on May 12.