I have soft corner for minorities: Advani

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Shillong, Sep 29 (UNI) BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Lal Krishna Advani today said he had a 'soft corner' for Christians, even as he assured full protection to minorities if the party is given a mandate in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

The Leader of Opposition arrived here amidst unprecedented security as the National Security Guard (NSG) and local police threw a tight cordon around him following an e-mail that threatened to kill him during his 'Vijay Sankalp Yatra' here.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Donkupar Roy and former Lok Sabha speaker Purno Agitok Sangma met Mr Advani and raised the recent attacks on minorities, besides discussing the overall political situation in the country.

Soon after his meeting with the political leaders, the right-wing eader held a closed-door meeting with religious leaders of various faiths.

''Mr Advani had told the inter-faith religious leaders that he has a soft corner for the Christians as he was a product of a Christian institution, having studied in St. Patrick School in Karachi,''Archbishop Rev Dominic Jala said.

Not only that, according to Mr Sangma, Mr Advani had assured them that the minority community would be protected. The BJP leader also said he had already taken up the safety issue of minorities with the respective governments in Orissa, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.

''Given the records of attacks on minorities in various states ruled by the BJP, we express our great doubts and anxiety for our future if our country is governed by such a party again,'' Rev Jala said.

Raising the issue of recent attacks, BJP leader and Meghalaya Minister A L Hek said, ''We are very disturbed at what is happening in other parts of India as members of the minorities are being attacked and killed.

But Christians in Meghalaya, who are in majority, are peaceful and tolerant toward others as there is no retaliatory action towards the majority community.'' UNI RRK PL RP AS1721

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