ASIA/INDIA - A stable government to lead the country to an era of peace, prosperity and social harmony: local Church in India expresses hopes for the future

Monday, 24 May 2004

New Delhi (Fides Service) - A stable government that will inaugurate an era of social harmony, peace, justice economic development and good relations with neighbouring countries: this was the wish voiced by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India commenting the outcome of recent elections and the appointment as Prime Minister of Manmohan Singh who was sworn in by the President of India Abdul Kalam.
Mons Percival Fernandez, Secretary General of the Bishops’ Conference said in a message to Fides: “We are proud of our country and that the passing of power was democratic and peaceful. We have strengthened our democratic values and rule of law as system of government. And now it is our duty and the responsibility of the new government to work for the good of the people with special concern for disadvantaged groups and minorities. Every effort must be made to guarantee a safe and harmonious life for all sectors of Indian society”.
The secretary said “people expect great things from the new government and we hope they will be satisfied”. He said that India’s Christians and other minorities who have lived difficult times in the past due to Hindu extremism hope for a better future.
The National United Christian Forum also voiced satisfaction for the outcome of the elections and a government which is not conditioned by partisan group logic. The Forum sent congratulations to the new government asking it to strengthen traditional secular nature and urging all the political parties to cooperate wit the new executive with responsibility and in a way as not to betray the confidence of the voters.
After Sonia Gandhi stepped down as candidate for Premier, the new Prime Minister is Manmohan Singh, a Sikh and former minister of finance (1991-1996) a member of Congress Party, known for launching major economic reforms in India. Singh, the first non Hindu Premier, leads an executive of 67 ministers.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 24/05/2004 Lines: 34 Words: 379)