Jharkhand's Poor Pray To Obama For "Honest" Poll Candidates
Thursday, 26 March 2009

Villagers in Jharkhand chanted sacred hymns and offered prayers to Barack Obama on Wednesday, while appealing to political parties to field candidates like the U.S. President in the upcoming general election.

The main battle in the April/May electoral exercise will be between the Congress Party-led ruling coalition and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

But people in India, especially those living in rural towns and villages are sceptical about candidates, often complaining that many of them have criminal records and turn their backs after winning polls.

On Wednesday, about 100 people lit a sacred fire in Ranchi, and prayed around it, saying they would only vote for candidates who are honest and could fight for their rights.

"Only honest parliamentarians like Obama can change the fate of the country," said Sailen Sen, 71, as he folded his hands to pray.

Last November, hundreds of people beat drums, fired crackers and distributed sweets in the region to celebrate Obama's victory in the U.S. presidential polls.

Poor villagers in India say they suffer racial discrimination in a country enjoying an economic boom in some areas.

"Obama is our role model and we are appealing to the Congress party and the BJP to field candidates who follow the ideology of Obama," said Mukhtar Singh, who organised the special prayers.

The organisers also said they would launch a campaign in the streets, urging voters not to vote for candidates with criminal records

Source: bdnews24.com

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