Punjab: the Christian community is delighted that its leader has reached ministerial rank | Amritsar News

AMRITSAR: Ahead of the parliamentary elections, the Punjab government promoted Professor Emanual Nahar, chairman of the Punjab State Commission for Minorities, to the rank of cabinet, a move that has thrilled the Christian community in the state.
Upon obtaining cabinet member status, Nahar told TOI on Wednesday that he would be better equipped to address the issues of minority communities. He said minority communities, especially the Christian community, faced the problems of cemeteries, community centers and Church properties.
“I have already succeeded in solving these problems and now, with the rank of cabinet, I will continue to work for the facilitation of minority communities in the state,” he said.
Sources in the community have drawn attention to the alleged siphoning of funds intended for the community and the illegal installation of Church properties.
“Many leaders and MPs are elected through Christian votes but they won’t let us unite, the time is coming when we should consider having our own political party,” the sources said.
Nahar said he would pressure the government to secure reservations for Christians in the Punjab in addition to addressing the issues of other minority communities, including Muslims and Jains.
While expressing his gratitude to the government of Punjab for elevating the status of Christian leader to cabinet, the senior vice president of the Punjab State Christian Welfare Board, Bishop Emmanuel Rehmat Masih said that since independence, the Christians had received no benefit and the community continued to desire for their rights and had fought even for their legitimate claims.
“Giving the cabinet rank is undoubtedly an honor, but the real problems of the community had to be addressed as a priority,” Masih said, adding that even bodies like the Punjab State Commission for Minorities were not as referral bodies.
According to sources, the Christian voting bank was a deciding factor in around 20 assembly seats in the Punjab.
“Christians have a large voice bank in various constituencies in the three regions of Punjab, namely Majha, Malwa and Doaba,” Emannual said.
Leading by example, he said that in constituencies like Ajnala, Rajasansi, Majitha, Christian voices exceeded 36,000, 30,000 and 32,000 respectively, while up to three urban constituencies in Amritsar each had more than 20,000 Christian voices.

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