associate sponsors

Llyod
HDFC

Supreme Court bans politicians from using religion, caste to win votes | Reuters

NEW DELHI Supreme Court on Monday prohibited politicians from using religion and caste to garner votes, a verdict that could force political parties to change their strategy in upcoming elections."No politician can seek vote in the name of caste, creed or religion," said Chief Justice T.S. Thakur in an order, adding that election process must be a "secular exercise".India is officially secular but political parties have traditionally used religion and caste as the main criteria to select candidates and to appeal to voters.Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has for years fought elections on a Hindu nationalist agenda, with party members in the past being accused of making anti-Muslim statements to polarise Hindu voters.

The court ruling comes just weeks ahead of a state election in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state where the two issues of religion and caste generally dominate campaigns.Results of the election will be important for Modi's expected bid for a second term in 2019.

State elections are also due this year in the states of Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.The Supreme Court, ruling on a petition filed by a politician in 1996, wrote in its opinion that the secular ethos of the constitution had to be protected.

The majority view of the seven-judge Supreme Court bench held that elections would be void if a politician made an appeal for votes on the basis of religious sentiment. (Reporting by Rupam Jain, Suchitra Mohanty, Writing by Rupam Jain, Editing by Tom Lasseter, Robert Birsel)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.


Updated Date: Jan 02, 2017 16:42 PM

Also Watch

Watch: The true stories from Dharavi that inspired Rajinikanth's Kaala
  • Thursday, March 8, 2018 Watch: Cyrus Khan talks about Parkour, jumping across walls and why he hates sitting
  • Thursday, May 31, 2018 Unwind: India's basketball sensation Amjyot Singh has his eyes set on becoming an NBA regular
  • Monday, May 28, 2018 First Day First Showsha — Review of Solo: A Star Wars Story in 10 questions
  • Saturday, May 19, 2018 Social Media Star: Rajkummar Rao and Bhuvan Bam open up about selfie culture, online trolls

Also See



{if $hideJSforEU != 'yes'} {/if}