BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Dr Subramanian Swamy has taken strong exception to the Delhi Archbishop's controversial letter that highlights 'turbulent political times' and calls for people to pray for the country, as well as his subsequent comments.
Taking to Twitter, Dr Subramanian Swamy has implored Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct the Ministry of External Affairs to cease all diplomatic relations with the Vatican -- the seat of Christianity. Further, Dr Swamy wants the Vatican's embassy in New Delhi's Chanakyapuri to be sealed as the Archbishop of Delhi is a formal nominee of the Vatican.
Dr Swamy's tweet follows a massive controversy being triggered by Delhi Archbishop Anil Couto who on May 8, just days before the Karnataka elections, wrote a letter with political overtones where he said: "We are witnessing a turbulent political atmosphere which poses a threat to the democratic principles enshrined in our Constitution and the secular fabric of our nation."
His letter went on to mention the 2019 General Elections and he requested that a day of fast be observed each Friday for the spiritual renewal of the nation.
He went on to provide a "Prayer For Our Nation".
Speaking to Republic TV on Tuesday, Anil Couto defended his actions and gave confirmation that they had to do with the 'current context'. He listed "pressure on the judiciary and interference in educational institutions" but maintained that he wasn't targeting the government. He said that the Church wasn't interfering but it had a role to play.
BJP party president Amit Shah broke his silence on the matter while addressing a news briefing on Tuesday evening when he said that nobody whould galvanise support on the basis of religion.
"I personally believe that no one should say things like this. For a religious person to make such comments cannot be accepted and appreciated", Amit Shah said.
On the other hand, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has backed the Archbishop and his letter, saying:
"We respect all communities, castes, and Archbishops across the country, including that of Kolkata. I think whatever they said, they correctly said. It's a fact."