Thiruvananthapuram: The Thalassery Arch Bishop of the Roman Catholic church, Mar Joseph Pamplani has said that if the Government of India raises the price of Rubber to Rs 300 per kilogram, the church will help the BJP in Kerala and will overcome the situation of the BJP not having an MP from the state.
He was addressing the Catholic Farmers Conference of the Thalassery Arch Diocese on Sunday. The Catholic church has a major influence among catholic farmers and most of the rubber plantations in the state are owned by catholic farmers. Rubber is trading between Rs 131 to Rs 151 per kg between December 2022 and March 2023.
The open statement of the Catholic Bishop will have its tremors across the political spectrum of Kerala. Kerala’s Minister for Public Works and Tourism and son-in-law of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Mohammed Riyas was cautious in his response to the question on the Bishop’s statement. When media persons asked him the question at Palakkad, the young CPI-M leader said: “I haven’t seen the statement of the Bishop. I will comment only after having seen the statement and in what context he has said so if at all he has spoken like that.”
However, the minister said that the RSS was aiming for a Hindu Rashtra as it was fast approaching its centenary year in 2025 and that the minorities of the country including Muslims and Christians are in fear. He said that the absolute majority of Narendra Modi in the past two elections has given the much-needed fillip for the RSS in this regard.
The CPI-M state secretary M.V. Govindan shot down the statement and said that no such social engineering will have any impact in Kerala. Without directly commenting on the statement of the Bishop, the CPI-M state secretary said that whatever RSS and BJP try in Kerala, they won’t be successful.
It may be noted that BJP is yet to open an account in Kerala in the Lok Sabha. However, in 2004, the NDA alliance partner and former Union Minister, P.C. Thomas had staged an upset victory in Muvattupuzha constituency by winning the seat in the ticket of Indian Federal Democratic Party (IFDP). It was again a social engineering carried out by the BJP, RSS by inducting P.C. Thomas in the Atal Behari Vajpayee government and then later facing the polls.
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