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EC notice to archbishop for letter seeking prayers for election

Officials said the action was taken on a complaint received by the Election Commission of India (EC) from an organisation, Legal Rights Observatory.

Secular and democratic fabric of our country is at stake. Human Rights are being violated: Thomas Macwan

Gujarat Election Commission on Saturday served a notice on Thomas Macwan, Archbishop of Gandhinagar and sought an explanation on his letter issued to the Catholic community seeking prayers to ensure the election of leaders who “remain faithful to the Indian Constitution” so that the country can be “saved of nationalist forces”.

The notice, served through the District Election Officer of Gandhinagar, asks the Archbishop to explain why his appeal should not be viewed as a violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

Officials said the action was taken on a complaint received by the Election Commission of India (EC) from an organisation, Legal Rights Observatory. It sought “immediate action” against the Archbishop, as his public letter dated November 21 was an attempt to “generate fear” among voters to “divide people on the basis of caste and creed”.

Gandhinagar District Election Officer Satish Patel said that on EC’s order for inquiry, a notice was served on Archbishop Macwan on Saturday. Macwan said, “The letter has only been sent to the Christian community to pray. We can always pray for good humans to be elected as leaders. It has not been issued with any malicious intention to harm anyone.”

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