The die was cast when Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Friday said the Archdiocese of Changanassery had tried to force certain CPM candidates to withdraw from the fray. Reacting to this accusation, archdiocese spokesperson Fr Mani Puthiyidom said it was unbecoming of a minister to have accused a section of people of perpetrating such deeds. “The accusation of the CPM leadership is aimed at isolating and dividing the Christian fraternity. It is also an effort to cover up the government’s administrative lapses and appease the majority community,’’ he said at Changanassery.
The Catholic Federation of India has also called upon the believers to reject such charges. As expected, the Opposition United Democratic Front has also rubbished the charge and asked Balakrishnan to prove it.
CPM State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said the present face-off was the handiwork of certain bishops who had political interests. “The CPM and Church have certain inborn differences. But there are many areas where we can work together. The mischief is played by certain vested interests in the church who try to team up with the UDF and play politics. That is where the problems crop up,’’ he said here.
Elections will be held on October 23 and 25 to 1,208 local bodies in the state for which 70,915 candidates are in the fray.