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'Catholic priests, Muslim groups pushing extremism in Kerala'

Friday, June 04, 2010 09:13:57 PM, IANS

New Delhi: Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan Friday said Catholic priests and Muslim political leaders are spreading "minority extremism" in the state and practising "vote bank politics".

Balakrishnan said a section of Catholic priests made efforts to ensure the merger of Kerala Congress-Mani (KC-M) and Kerala Congress-Joseph (KC-J) last month.

"KC-J leader P.J. Joseph has agreed that the merger took place because of the pressure by a section of Catholic priests. This is the clear example of intervention of religion in politics. It is very serious and dangerous. The government has taken a serious note of it," Balakrishnan told reporters here.

The KC-J was part of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF). The outfit later merged with the KC-M, which is a constituent of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

Balakrishnan said the efforts to unite the Muslim "communal outfits" in the state are being made by the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML).

"They are trying to create minority vote bank in the state," said Balakrishnan, who is also a CPI-M politburo member.

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan Tuesday alleged the recent merger of the KC-J and KC-M and the secret parleys between the IUML and Jamat-e-Islami were part of the Congress' agenda of promoting minority communalism.

The Congress' Kerala unit chief Ramesh Chennithala criticised Achuthanandan for questioning the party's secular credentials and said that the chief minister was trying to create communal disharmony.











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