With the resignation of former Anglo-Indian MLA of Andhra Pradesh, Phillip C. Tocher, from the TDP, many Christian leaders from the state have ganged up against TDP supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu for targeting Christian religion with distasteful remarks. On Monday, the Christian leaders in Vizag demanded an unconditional apology from Naidu and said that mixing religion with politics was unacceptable and totally unethical on the part of a senior politician and former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.
Christians expressed strong displeasure against the unwarranted and derogatory remarks of Naidu. Christians, under the auspices of Vizag Chapter of Andhra Pradesh Christian Leaders Forum (APCLF), gathered in large numbers at Dharna Chowk near the RTC complex in Vizag and raised slogans against Naidu. The community leaders expressed their resentment and the manner in which they are being targeted.
APCLF Vizag Chapter president Rev A Ravi Babu reasoned that Naidu in his desperate attempt to stay relevant and hog limelight was maligning Christians. “Attributing the rise of Christianity to the present government by the former CM is unacceptable,” he added. The unresolved issues of Christians are an example of the attitude of the present government towards Christians,” he remarked. The members said that there was never an incident of forceful conversion or partiality of the government towards Christians.
Oliver Rayi, State Chairman of APCLF, said: “In an apparent sense of insecurity and struggle for power, some political parties are trying to create social unrest and religious hatred in an otherwise peace-loving and calm state.” For decades, various governments formed by various parties ruled with equality and there was never any incident of favoritism towards Christians as alleged, he added. Stating that Christians have been taxpayers too, he questioned the rationale behind former CM finding fault with the present government for extending one-time assistance to pastors during the lockdown.
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