Narcotic Jihad: Congress demands all-party meeting to end row

V D Satheesan
Opposition Leader V D Satheesan

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress in Kerala has demanded that the state government convene an all-party meeting to find a 'permanent solution' to end the row over the 'narcotic jihad' remark made recently by Pala Bishop Joseph Kallarangat.

Leader of Opposition, VD Satheesan accused the ruling LDF of being a mute spectator in the issue. Satheesan has asked Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to scan the social media for post and remarks on 'narcotic jihad'. He asked what the intelligence and cyber cell were doing when vested interests were trying to trigger communal tension over the Bishop's remark.

“There are those who are waiting to use the opportunity to burn Kerala down to ashes. We repeatedly request everyone not to fall into their trap," said Satheesan adding that the Congress has a firm stand on the issue to prevent friction between the two communities.

Meanwhile, the BJP that had rallied behind the Bishop, has turned its attention toward the political tie-up between the LDF and the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) in the Erattupetta Municipality. On Monday, the LDF had toppled the UDF-led council of the municipality with the support of the SDPI members and a Congress councillor, who turned hostile.

BJP state Chief K Surendran has alleged that the SDPI councillors in Erattupetta had taken out a violent protests towards the Bishop House over his 'narcotic jihad' remark and the CPM decision to forge a tie-up reflected its arrogance towards the "suppressed Christian community" in the state. SDPI is a political arm of the Popular Front of India (PFI).

"The Marxist party is now moving towards a public political tie-up with the SDPI. The collaboration is a grave threat to the secular stand adopted by the state. The CPM has joined hands with the anti-national forces for political gains. It is anti-democratic," Surendran said in Palakkad.

He asked how the Left party, which always preaches about secularism, could collaborate with a group which had allegedly triggered several communal clashes in the southern state. "The Christian community and the secular mindset in Kerala should discuss this," Surendran said, adding that the 'narcotic jihad' was a usage mentioned in many conferences of the United Nations as 'narcotic terrorism' and it was not a new issue.
(With agency inputs)

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