The high court of southern Andhra Pradesh state on Friday dismissed a plea to prevent opposition Congress party president Sonia Gandhi -- of Italian Catholic origin -- from becoming a member of Parliament, Prime Minister, or President of India.
    Catholic World News reports that the petition was filed last week as Gandhi, widow of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, came close to becoming the Prime Minister of India after the coalition government led by the pro-Hindu BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) lost a vote of confidence in Parliament on 17 April.
    "Just because [Gandhi] is Italian by birth, it cannot be said that the sovereignty, unity, and integrity of India will be in danger if she is permitted to hold the post of prime minister," ruled the Andhra Pradesh high court even as meetings went on in New Delhi last week to form an alternative government led by Gandhi.
    It's thought that the election of Sonia Gandhi would enrage right-wing Hindu groups that are responsible for recent spates of anti-Christian violence.

11:32am 27/4/99 / Catholic World News


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