Kerala BJP prez in row over 'communal' statement

BJP Kerala president Kummanam Rajasekharan’s statement on regulation of businesses run by non-Hindus near temples has triggered a row with ruling Congress and Opposition CPM leaders slamming the statement over its divisive tone.

Rajasekharan had said on Saturday, after formally taking over as the party’s new state president, that respective temple committees could take a decision on the matter.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Monday said Rajasekharan’s statement was in conflict with Kerala’s heritage and history of communal harmony.

Chandy also said the government was open to address “practical issues” in connection with businesses run by non-Hindus near temples. “Kerala expected a more mature approach from the BJP leadership. People who try to spread hate in this secular state will be discarded,” Chandy said in a statement here.

Rajasekharan, however, clarified on Monday that his words were being misconstrued for political gains. “All I’ve said is that this is an internal matter of respective temple authorities and they can take a call on it.

This is my opinion on churches and mosques as well,” he told reporters. Rajasekharan, a RSS-backed choice for the BJP’s top post in Kerala, had also questioned what he called the state government’s unfair controls on temple management.

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