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Hindu Nationalist Party woos voters in Catholic stronghold

Ahead of this month's Indian election, a pro-Hindu political party ventured into a Catholic stronghold in Goa to mine votes, but Church leaders declared it was not a "real worry".

Seminary professor Fr Eremito Rebelo told UCA News, "No party can get an absolute majority (in the state) without the support of the Catholics of south Goa."

Goa has 1.3 million people, nearly 65% of them Hindus and about 30% Christian. The state goes to the polls on Monday to elect its two seats in the Lok Sabha (people's council), the lower house of parliament. Voting in phase one of the Indian election took place yesterday

On Saturday, Goa archdiocese's Service Centre for Social Action issued its second election appeal, urging the faithful to cast their votes for those who are "not obsessed by narrow, parochial biases like caste and creed."

Hindu Nationalist Party Woos Goan Catholics, Church Leaders Not Worried (UCA News 20/4/04 - registration required)

Indians vote in hi-tech election (BBC 20/4/04)
Catholic Bishops Conference of India

21 Apr 2004