THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Back-to-back allegations that include a land scam and a series of sexual exploitation involving priests of different Christian denominations in Kerala have undoubtedly caught the eye of all political parties in the state. With just a year remaining for the 2019 general elections, all political fronts prefer to tread a cautious path in the matter.
While the two prominent fronts - the LDF and the UDF - seem to be consciously turning a blind eye to the issue, the saffron party might consider exploring the various political possibilities, though it is yet to come up with a right strategy. Moreover, there are concerns any intervention from its side could backfire in the long run.
Senior BJP leader V Muraleedharan opined both the UDF and the LDF would prefer to play safe due to obvious political reasons. The CPM-led Left Government would not be prone to take proactive action in this regard, he said.
“The CPM would prefer not to take stern action, as they would view it as an opportunity to make inroads into the Christian community. The Congress would also prefer to keep mum rather than go against the Church.
“The government could have even conveyed to the Church leadership to ensure that the state opposition does not cash in on the same against the Left front,” he opined.
Curiously however, even the saffron party has been playing it safe, as the party - for the time being at least- seems to advocate a soft approach towards the Christian community in the state. “In fact, the BJP does not have a clear picture on how the community would take it, as they do not want to antagonise them. Ideally, a leader from the community - either Alphonse Kannanthanam or George Kurian - should intervene,” sources pointed out.
The CPM state leadership is of the view such incidents should be viewed as individuals indulging in illegal activities, rather than issues related to a certain community or religion. “These are isolated and individual issues, and should be treated in the same manner. There’s no point in blaming one particular religion or community, as such incidents have been reported in other religions too,” said CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.
Left political commentator N M Pearson too argued the Church-related allegations on sexual exploitations should be treated as a social issue rather than related to the Christian community.