Christians in the State, who account for nearly 4 per cent of the population, feel “betrayed and hurt” as the Congress has not fielded anyone from the community for the Lok Sabha elections, according to the All India Christian Forum. Addressing presspersons here on Tuesday, forum member V. Fernandes said that for the first time, the Christian community had been denied ticket to contest the Lok Sabha elections. “We feel that the Congress is taking Christian voters for granted, ignoring the fact that we have been supporting the party all these years.”
He claimed that the present government was apathetic to the issues faced by the community. “Though the previous government made efforts to set up the Christian Development Board, the present government has not taken it forward. That apart, no member of the community has been made chairperson of the Karnataka Minorities Development Board,” he said.
Charles Gomes, former chairman of the Federation of Konkani Catholics’ Association and forum member, pointed out that membership to the Christian Development Council had not yet been announced by the government. Further, no one from the community was conferred the Rajyotsava Award 2013.
He said the forum was now considering its options, including dialogue with other secular political parties and exercising mass NOTA (none of the above) option during the elections.
“If they fail to provide adequate representation, we will discuss the issue with other Christian organisations in the State to chart out the next course of action,” Mr. Gomes said.