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Bishop in Kerala urges faithful to vote for candidates who can protect secularism

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NewsDrum Desk
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Kozhikode (Kerala), Mar 31 (PTI) A prominent Catholic bishop on Sunday said the church has adopted an "equidistance" theory with regard to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and the faithful would be urged to vote for candidates who can protect the country's democracy, socialism, secularism and integrity.

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Varghese Chakkalakal, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calicut, said voters in Kerala are politically conscious and capable of choosing good candidates.

He was replying to questions from reporters after senior BJP leader and former Union Minister Prakash Javadekar and saffron party's candidate in Kozhikode constituency M T Ramesh visited him here on Easter.

After the brief visit, the bishop and the BJP leaders said it was a friendly meeting and no politics was involved.

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"We adopt an issue-based and value-based equidistance theory. We tell voters (faithful) to exercise their franchise as per their conscience...to choose a good candidate who lives for the nation and who can protect the country's democracy, socialism, secularism and integrity of the country," Chakkalakal told the media.

The meeting of the BJP leaders with the Christian bishop on Easter assumed political significance as the saffron party was making all possible efforts to woo the minority community in the state ahead of the LS polls.

The party's state unit had even launched an outreach programme titled "Sneha Yatra" recently in which the BJP leaders and activists visited homes of Christians in Kerala on festival days and extended greetings. PTI LGK SS

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