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Kerala Congress apologises to Christians over controversial social media post

In the explanatory post, the party further said the people in the state clearly know that it is not the tradition of the Indian National Congress to insult and disparage any religion, religious priests or idols.
Last Updated : 17 June 2024, 11:29 IST

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Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress in Kerala on Monday tendered an apology to the Christian community a day after one of its social media posts taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his recent meeting with Pope Francis triggered a political row in the state. The party also withdrew the post from its official X handle.

Sharing a picture of Modi meeting the Pope on its 'X' page, Congress Kerala had noted "Finally, the Pope got a chance to meet God!"

After its post on X drew severe criticism, the Congress on Sunday withdrew the post and tendered an apology.

In a fresh post on its X handle, the state unit of the grand old party said it tendered an unconditional apology to the Christian faithful if its earlier post had caused any "emotional or psychological distress" to them.

In the explanatory post, the party further said the people in the state clearly know that it is not the tradition of the Indian National Congress to insult and disparage any religion, religious priests or idols.

The party said no Congress worker would even entertain the remotest thought of insulting the Pope, whom Christians around the world consider as God-like.

However, the party is not hesitant to mock PM Narendra Modi, who insults the faithful of the country by calling himself God, the post said.

In that way, people would understand the communal minds of BJP state chief K Surendran and others to portray the Congress' attempt to mock Modi's "shameless political games" as an insult to the Pope, it said.

Hitting out at Surendran and other BJP leaders who triggered a row over the issue, the Congress further said their attempt was to "downgrade" the Christians as a group of people who have no self-respect and are the ones who spread communal venom as soon as they inject it.

"If there is any genuine love for the Christian community, then Modi and his cohorts, who remained silent when their churches were burned down in Manipur, should first tender an unconditional apology to the Christians," the party added.

The BJP in Kerala on Sunday hit out at the Congress party in the state over its social media post on Modi's meeting with Pope Francis during the G7 Summit and alleged that it's X handle was seemingly run by "radical Islamists or Urban Naxals". The grand old party had earlier posted a picture of PM Modi with the Pope on its X handle along with a sarcastic comment that "Finally, the Pope got a chance to meet God!" Irked by the post, BJP state chief Surendran had accused the Congress' state unit of posting derogatory and humiliating content against nationalistic leaders on its social media handle.

He alleged that AICC general secretary K C Venugopal was certainly aware of the post and sought to know whether party chief Mallikarjun Kharge and senior leader Rahul Gandhi endorsed it.

Soon after his criticism, the Congress again gave a sarcastic reply through it's X handle and wished "better luck next time" to Surendran and others from "Modi ka parivar".

"Better luck next time, @surendranbjp, @Georgekurianbjp and others from Modi ka parivar!" the Congress in Kerala said in the post.

Prime Minister Modi on Friday invited Pope Francis to visit India and said he admired the pontiff's commitment to serving the people.

They met with a warm embrace at the Outreach session of the G7 Summit in Italy where they joined other world leaders to deliberate on the topic of Artificial Intelligence, Energy, Africa and the Mediterranean.

With PTI input

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Published 17 June 2024, 11:29 IST

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