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I have soft-corner for Christians: Advani
Correspondent SHILLONG, SEPT 29:
Published on 30 Sep. 2008 1:27 AM IST
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BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Lal Krishna Advani today said he had a “soft corner” for the Christians, even as he assured full protection to minority groups if BJP is given the mandate in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The BJP leader arrived here amidst unprecedented security as the National Security Guard (NSG) and local police threw a tight security ring around him in the backdrop of an email threat to kill him during his “Vijay Sankalp Yatra in Shillong. Meghalaya Chief Minister, Donkupar Roy and former Lok Sabha speaker Purno Agitok Sangma met Advani and raised the issue of recent attacks on Christians, besides discussing the overall political situation in the Country. Soon after his meeting with the political leaders, the right-wing Hindu leader held closed door meeting with religious leaders of various faiths, including Christians and Muslims. “Mr Advani had told the inter-faith religious leaders that he has a ‘soft corner’ for the Christians as he was a product of a Christian institution having studied in St. Patrick School in Karachi,” Archbishop Rev Dominic Jala said. According to Sangma, Mr Advani had assured them that the minority community will be protected. The BJP leader also told that he had already taken up the safety issue of the Christian community in these states with the respective governments in Orissa, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. “Given the record of attacks on Christians in various States ruled by the BJP, we express our great doubts and anxiety for our future if our country is governed by such a party again,” Rev Jala said. Raising the issue of recent attacks, BJP leader and Meghalaya Minister A L Hek said, “We are very disturbed at what is happening in other parts of India as Christians are being attacked and killed. But Christians in Meghalaya who are in majority are peaceful and tolerant toward others as there is no retaliatory towards the Hindus.” Interestingly, the BJP leader, however, did not mention a word on the recent attacks on Christians during his yatra in this predominantly christian state.

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