Religious groups hail SC ruling on caste, creed vote

New Delhi, Jan 2 (IANS) Religious organisations across the ideological divide welcomed the Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday barring political parties and candidates from seeking votes in the name of religion, caste, community, race or language.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad said that the politics based on caste, community and religion has harmed the country.

“We welcome the decision of the Supreme Court,” VHP International General Secretary Surendra Jain told IANS.

He said the politics based on caste, language, region or religion has “harmed our nation very much”, and added that “national integration has also been damaged by this practice”.

“Vote bank politics should be curbed by this decision. This judgement may prove a landmark in nation-building,” the VHP leader added.

On the other side of the divide, Jamat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) said the prohibition to use religion etc. to garner vote should be strictly implemented.

“Although the Supreme Court ruling was not something new as the existing law already bars people from stoking communal sentiments to get votes, but now this order should be implemented in letter and spirit,” JIH Secretary General Mohammed Salim Engineer told IANS.

He said that the Supreme Court took notice of it was an evidence of the fact that such practice by political parties and candidates have been “rampant”.

The apex court on Monday said that seeking votes on the basis of caste, community, religion or language was illegal.

A constitution bench headed by Chief Justice T.S. Thakur by a 4:3 majority passed the order on the basis of Section 123(3) of the Representation of People’s Act.

–IANS

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