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PC George’s hate speech and arrest muddy Thrikkakara political waters

Political commentators say all parties have been pursuing communal appeasement for electoral gains and this is very evident in the Thrikkakara bypoll.

Published: 26th May 2022 05:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th May 2022 05:29 AM   |  A+A-

Former MLA P C George greeting BJP leaders and supporters who gathered  in front of the Palarivattom police station in Kochi on Wednesday | A Sanesh 

Express News Service

KOCHI: The hate speech by former MLA P C George and his arrest on Wednesday have become a talking point in the Thrikkakara election campaign with CPM and BJP using the incident to make political mileage while the Congress kept a studied silence on the issue. CPM-led LDF projected the former Poonjar MLA’s arrest as its ‘tough stand’ on communal hate-mongering, the BJP accused the ruling front of eyeing the big chunk of Muslim voters in the constituency through the move and blamed the Left of not taking such stern steps in the case of hate sloganeering during the PFI rally. 

Political commentators say all parties have been pursuing communal appeasement for electoral gains and this is very evident in the Thrikkakara bypoll. M N Karassery told TNIE that LDF, UDF and BJP-led NDA are trying to secure the votes for electoral gains.

“The arrest of PC George maybe just coincidental with the Thrikkakara bypoll. However, LDF has managed to overcome the allegations raised by rivals of having a soft approach towards communal forces through the arrests in both cases (George’s hate speech and PFI rally),” he said. 

Karassery felt that BJP might make inroads into Christian voters and neutral voters with the way it handled the George hate speech case. Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council official spokesperson Fr Jacob G Palackappilly said the George issue would create an undercurrent in the bypoll. “It might divide the Christian community votes. However, the voters are politically very educated, and they know how to exercise their franchise,” he said. 

Fr Palackappilly alleged that the government is taking a double standard on the hate speech issue. “The government should initiate stern action against those involved in the hate sloganeering in Alappuzha,” he said.At an election rally in Kochi, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, said the arrest showed the state’s resolve in tacking communal issues.

“Kerala is not a place where anyone can say anything. It’s ruled by LDF. George used derogative language. He had used a language which is not acceptable for our state,” he said.

A N Radhakrishnan, BJP candidate in Thrikkakara, alleged that the Left government was showing double standards on the issue. “The government is initiating action against George with an eye on the 27,000 Muslim votes in the constituency. What’s the need for such a hurry to arrest him?” he asked.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader VD Satheesan and other UDF leaders did not respond to George’s arrest. Congress national general secretary KC Venugopal was in Thrikkakara for campaigning but he also did not comment on the issue.



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