Invite Pope Francis to visit India: Cong member in LS

Pope Francis at St. Peter's square in the Vatican. (Photo by AFP)

Indian government should extend a formal invitation to Pope Francis to travel to the country as a vast section of people are waiting for the Papal visit, a Congress member said in Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Kodikunnil Suresh, Chief Whip of Congress in Lok Sabha, said the last Papal visit to India was that of Pope John Paul II on November 1999.

"It is requested that the Government of India extend a formal invitation to Pope Francis... It is also noted that his tenure ends soon and a visit of such a personality will only enhance our outlook towards honouring individuals who promote peace and tranquillity," he said during the Zero Hour.

"According to our information, the Pope is eagerly looking forward to visit India and every other neighbouring nation," he noted.

"Apart from the Catholic community, a vast section of the people in the country are eagerly waiting for the Papal visit and it will be an encouragement for all those individuals who engage in selfless service in charity, elimination of societal evils and strive towards lofty ideals of mercy," the Congress leader said.

BJP member Nishikant Dubey urged the government to bring a bill for the Uniform Civil Code in the country.

There should not be politics in the name of Hindus, Muslims or Christians, he said, adding that there should be one law for everyone living in India.

BJP's Dilip Saikia said the government should immediately formulate a policy for population control. In Assam, Bengali-speaking Hindus are getting notices from the foreigners' tribunal. Such notices should be stopped and the government should ensure that Hindus can live in India, he added. Raising the issue of death of Cafe Coffee Day founder V G Siddhartha, Congress leader Manish Tewari said there should be a probe regarding a purported letter wherein it has been said that he had faced harassment from the Income Tax Department. It is a serious issue, he added. 

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