Mumbai, June 18 (IANS) Hours after the Congress hinted at a second term for Vice-President M. Hamid Ansari, some Christian organisations here Monday demanded considering a person from the community for the post.
The Catholic Secular Forum (CSF), along with the Christian NGOs Federation, said that independent India had never had a Christian occupying any of the top constitutional posts.
"The service of the community has not been recognised with constitutional positions. We feel neglected and taken for granted as there are many Christians, who are equally or better qualified, but continue to be ignored," CSF founder Joseph Dias told reporters.
The All India Catholic Union national secretary Lawrence D'Souza said that since the United Progressive Alliance and other political parties had declared support for Congress nominee Pranab Mukherjee as the next president, Christian groups wanted parties to consider a Christian as the next vice-president.
"Indian Christians have meritoriously worked their way to the top in every field of national endeavour, including being chiefs of the armed forces," D'Souza said.
Mark D'Souza, president of Indian Christian Congress, said that the service of Christians, without any discrimination to the needy, was incomparable.
"There is no reason why Christians should be denied such high posts, or even gubernatorial positions," said Konkani Sabha secretary Roney Mendonca.
The speakers suggested names of prominent Christians like Rajasthan Governor Margaret Alva, Congress leader Oscar Fernandes, former Bangalore police official H.T. Sangliana and former chief justice of Karnataka Justice M.F. Saldanha for the high post.
Over a thousand bishops, priests, nuns, NGO representatives and people from the community, besides NRIs, signed an online petition for these demands, Dias said.