Leaders make a beeline to Pala

Just as the controversy over the narcotic jihad looked set to subside, the issue has begun to assume new proportions with more political leaders pouring into the bishop’s house in Pala.

On Thursday morning, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Rajya Sabha MP Suresh Gopi reached Pala and held discussions with bishop Bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangatt for nearly an hour. Speaking to reporters after the visit, Mr. Gopi said he visited the prelate not as a politician but as an MP.

“The bishop never sought to cast aspersions on any particular religion, but was only referring to the activities by some sections. Why does a section of people take the onus when speaking about terrorism?” he asked.

Interestingly, Mr. Gopi's visit comes against the backdrop of his earlier statement that there was no need to go all the way to Pala and declare solidarity. A sudden change in his stance is attributed to an intervention by the BJP central leadership.

Later in the afternoon, Kerala Congress(M) chairman Jose K. Mani arrived at the bishop’s house and held discussions with the prelate. Mr. Mani, who had been out of station over the last few days, said he had been in frequent contact with the bishop in view of the controversies.

Mr.Mani was followed by a Congress delegation comprising Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president K Sudhakaran, general secretary Tomy Kallani, and District Congress Committee president Nattakom Suresh. During the meeting that lasted about 45 minutes, Mr. Sudhakaran extended his wholehearted support to the bishop.

Later in the day, Kerala Congress (Jacob) chairman Anoop Jacob also paid a visit to the bishop’s house.

According to sources, more politicians and organisational heads, including Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader Valsan Thillenkeri, are likely to visit the bishop’s house in the coming days. BJP leaders P.K. Krishnadas and A.N. Radhakrishnan visited the bishop here a few days ago.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 5:07:37 PM |

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