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AFTER senior BJP leader and Kanpur MP Murli Manohar Joshi was invited for the inauguration of a madrasa building, he and local party leaders have now received an invitation from a church — The Good Shepherd Church in India — to attend its annual worship concert ‘Chrisfiesta-2014’ on December 8 in Kanpur.
The church authorities will felicitate the BJP leaders, who have been requested to deliver speeches in the presence of more than 200 Christians.
While Joshi would not be able to attend the event, the local BJP unit — led by district president Surendra Maithani — have confirmed their participation. “Along with other leaders of the district unit, I will attend the event because for the first time, the Christian community has invited us for their programme. On the occasion, I will appeal to the community to take membership of the BJP,” Maithani said, adding that Joshi would be out of the city on December 8.
Bishop of The Good Shepherd Church, Pankaj Raj Malik, said: “We have invited local BJP MP Murli Manohar Joshi and other members of local party unit, including district president to Chrisfiesta — thanks giving celebrations — organised every year before Christmas.” The BJP leaders would be felicitated with shawls and mementos, he added.
Asked why BJP leaders have been invited, Malik said: “We like Prime Minister Narendra Modi who talks about the interest of the whole 125-crore population and we are part of it. We are not associated with any party but want to give a platform to the BJP to tell us their expectations from our community and their plans for our welfare.”
One of the organisers of the event said that earlier, local Christians used to support the Congress and Samajwadi Party during elections.
“After Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, we have found Modi to be the only leader working for the welfare of all sections of the society,” Malik said.
Recently, the BJP had organised a membership camp in the city for Christians. Around 30 Christians have joined the party on the
first day. Earlier, there was only one member of the Christian community in the local BJP unit.