“On behalf of the Catholic Church in India, I offer my sincere congratulations to you and to the Bharatiya Janata Party. I want to assure you of our prayers and best wishes for you and your team as you lead our country in building a strong and inclusive India.”
This is what Cardinal Oswald Gracias stated in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, winner of the recent general election. As Fides News Agency reported, Cardinal Gracias, president of the Indian Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop of Bombay, the largest diocese in India, sent the letter on May 25, pointing out that the Indian people gave “a clear mandate for a stable and effective government”.
The Cardinal also congratulated Amit Shah, president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, who played the key role in the electoral victory, ensuring the prayer of the Catholic community “for health, wisdom, and strength to carry out the great responsibilities entrusted to him”.
The Church, the text adds, intends to collaborate with the government to create “a new India”: “We are all eager to work together for the vision of a new India which gives hope and energy to our youth, empowers our women especially in rural areas, opens new and sustainable opportunities for our farmers and strengthens our economy while leaving no one behind: a new India that enjoys peace and prosperity and continues to make progress”.
The results of the Indian general elections, held in seven phases from 11 April to 19 May, were announced on 23 May. Modi’s alliance led by the Bharatiya Janata Party won 353 seats out of the 543 of Lok Sabha, the lower House of parliament. Modi’s commitments include “liberating India from poverty, dirt, corruption, terrorism, casteism, and communalism by 2022”.