Syro-Malabar church wants CM to takeover minority welfare dept.

Even as the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government continues to grapple with the crisis triggered by the resignation of K.T. Jaleel from the Cabinet, the Syro-Malabar church has come up with a demand that the Minorities Welfare Department be handed over to the Chief Minister from the next government onward.

A statement, issued by the Public Relations-Jagratha Samithi of the Changanassery archdiocese, said the demand was being raised after holding a detailed review of the department’s operation under the two previous governments. It further called for steps to ensure transparent and indiscriminate operation of the department under the next government.

“A number of issues such as the 80:20 ratio set for the formulation, implementation and utilisation of funds for minority welfare schemes, the amendments enacted in the Minorities Commission Act, 2017 in connection with the appointment of its members, and lapses in recruitment of officials, have been under discussion for some time now,” it noted.

Meanwhile, the archdiocese centre also handed over letters raising the demand to the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, senior Congress leaders Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala, and the conveners of both the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the LDF.

While the church sources held that the latest move had nothing to do with the resignation of Mr. Jaleel, observers regarded it as an expression of unhappiness by the church on the recent developments within the department. Further, speculation was also rife about the church being wary of a visible shrinkage in its representation in the department.

A few months ago, it had launched a scathing attack on the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) for being communal in opposing the reservation for Economically Weaker Sections among the forward communities. The article, which appeared in Deepika–the official mouthpiece of the church, had also elaborated on the need to uphold secularism in a plural society and warned against the tendency among some political organisations of taking particular communities for granted.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 1:08:54 AM |

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