CPM targets Christian votes in Idukki

November 23, 2017 by  
Filed under India, newsletter-india

Kerala, November 22, 2017: Idukki: “Love your neighbour as yourself,” read a flex with a sacred heart image of Jesus Christ, erected on an electric pole at Vandanmedu. A photograph of the notice has gone viral online and it has reason enough to draw attention. It is not that of any church festival, but heralded the local committee meeting of the CPM.

The flex, which has now been taken down, reflects the political strategy that the party has been testing in the district for a while, targeting the Christian votes.

Add to it the party’s affair with pro-farmer High Range Protection Committee (HRSS) right from 2014, which helped it to send Joice George to the Lok Sabha as a CPM-supported independent. The district, traditionally pro-Congress, had lately been in the news for CPM’s pro-farmer stand on various issues with party veterans minister M M Mani and MLA S Rajendran making high-voltage comments.

The latest incident has been the party’s support to the hartal called by the Munnar protection committee against CPI-led revenue department’s ‘anti-farmer activities’.

Political observers say there is a slow yet study effort on behalf of the CPM to break the Congress bastion and the party does not even bother missing its closest ally CPI out in the game. It is as if now the CPM knows how to hit below the Congress belt in the district, some feel.

However, CPM Vandanmedu local secretary Siby Abraham says the flex boards were hardly an appeasement measure. “They were erected by our feeder organization KSKTU and it also had boards featuring Mannathu Padmanabhan, Ayyankali and Chattambi Swami.”

The KCBC, meanwhile, sounds unhappy. “Political parties use such symbols to nurse people’s religious sentiments for political gains. But such actions are harming society. It’s always better we keep politics and religion apart,” says KCBC official spokesperson Fr Varghese Vallikkatt.

“The CPM is portraying itself as a secular party but such acts betray its original thoughts. Political parties shouldn’t play with religious sentiments. The aim of raising such religious symbols is merely to achieve political gain,” he added.

– times of india

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