New Delhi: The RSS-backed rights body Legal Rights Observatory (LRO) has moved the Election Commission of India (ECI) against the Arunachal Pradesh Christian Revival Church Council (APCRCC) for rallying voters to vote for a particular candidate on religious grounds in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The Christian body on March 4, had issued on its letterhead an ‘order’ to “support Mr Khyoda Apik as Lok Sabha candidate in the coming Lok Sabha elections west parliamentary constituency”. Apik was a strong contender to get a congress ticket, but was denied in favour of former chief minister Nabam Tuki. Apik is now contesting on a National People’s Party (NPP) ticket.

“So on the basis of the resolution passed, the APCRCC along with rest of the Christian communities is hereby requested to all the concerned district councils to support in favour of Mr Khyoda Apik…in prayer as well as in all possible helps…,” the order said.

The order was signed by Maina Kodak, general sectary of the APCRCC.

In its complaint to the Chief Election Commissioner of India, the LRO said, “Since many years various radical Christian groups, spearheaded by the Church, are running open election campaigns, appealing voters on religious ground. In a similar case, the Supreme Court of India had disqualified Shiv Sena candidate Subhash Desai and revoked the voting right of Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thakre about 25 years ago.”

“We want to request similar stringent action against aforesaid Church which has appealed Christian voters to vote for Mr Kyoda Apik, the candidate for Arunachal West Lok Sabha constituency,” the complaint said.