Gracias applauds Modi for “emphatic” election victory

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The head of the Catholic Church in India has congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his emphatic victory in the just concluded general elections.

“On behalf of the Catholic Church in India, and on my own behalf, I extend my heartiest congratulations to you and to the Bharatiya Janata Party,” Cardinal Oswald Gracias, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, said in a letter addressed to Modi.

The cardinal, who is also the archbishop of Bombay, the largest diocese in India, noted in the May 25 letter that the people of India have given “a clear mandate for a stable and effective government.”

The results of the general election, held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19, were announced on May 23. The National Democratic Alliance led by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party won 353 of total 543 seats in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament.

The cardinal also congratulated Amit Shah, president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, who played the key role in the election victory.

“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,” Cardinal Gracias.

He also said that a public function on May 25 had prayed for health, wisdom and strength for the prime minister to carry out the great responsibilities entrusted to him.

The Church leader also offered to collaborate with the government’s vision to create a new India.

“We are all eager to work together for …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 which enjoys peace and prosperity and continues to make progress.”

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