Staff Reporter

Thrissur: The former Thrissur Archbishop Mar Jacob Thoomkuzhy on Monday said that the late Communist MLA Mathai Chacko was a believer.

Mar Thoomkuzhy was addressing a meeting before the Thrissur Corporation in protest against the controversial remarks of Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan about Thamarassery Bishop Mar Paul Chittilappilly.

“Mathai Chacko belongs to a traditional Christian family. All of them are believers. I am close to his family. He came to see me before the election. I asked him how he, a believer, had become a Marxist. He replied that his faith was intact despite being a Leftist. I have nothing to prove my statement in a court. But what I say is true. I have no reason to disbelieve that Mathai Chacko, a believer, had received extreme unction,” Mar Thoomkuzhy said.

He took exception to Mr. Vijayan’s reported remark against the Thamarassery Bishop.

“Mar Paul Chittilappilly does not have vested interests. Mr. Vijayan’s efforts to cast aspersions on Mar Chittillapilly will have no effect. The CPI(M) State secretary’s remarks will boomerang on him. He should learn and talk the language of love. Only then will he get it back. He should apologise for his remarks. Let us pray that he sees reason,” Mar Thoomkuzhy said.

Irinjalakuda Bishop Mar James Pazhayattil said that Mr. Vijayan’s bad language apparently reflected his tumultuous mind.

“He must have been worried about the Left Democratic Front government’s lapses and infighting in the Communist Party of India (Marxist). People in authority should not use bad language,” Mar Pazhayattil said.

Mar Joseph Pastor Neelankavil, Raphael Vadakkan, K.M. Francis and P.I. Lazar also spoke.

CPI(M) factionalism

Staff Reporter writes from Kottayam: P.C. George MLA, leader of Kerala Congress (S), has alleged that the controversy over the reception of extreme unction by former CPI(M) leader Mathai Chacko could be traced to factionalism in the CPI(M).

Speaking to mediapersons here on Monday, Mr. George said the move was part of an effort to malign the late leader who was identified with those close to Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan.

Reacting to a question he said the controversies in the KC(J) on the issue of draw-of-lots for selecting the minister was a clear signal that things were not going to be easy for the new minister.

To another question he said his party’s nominee would not vote with the ruling LDF in the Kottayam District Panchayat where they are in power with a majority of just one vote. However, the party had not made any final decision on whether he would vote with the Opposition UDF, Mr. George said.