In Kerala, Left parties’ ally raises ‘love jihad’ issue

Jose K Mani, the chairman of regional Christian party and LDF ally Kerala Congress (M), Sunday raked up the alleged “love jihad” issue in comments that could spark controversy in the ruling left alliance ahead of the Assembly election.

Jose K Mani, the chairman of regional Christian party and LDF ally Kerala Congress (M), Sunday raked up the alleged “love jihad” issue in comments that could spark controversy in the ruling left alliance ahead of the Assembly election.

At a TV programme, Mani, who is contesting from Pala constituency in Kottayam, said: “‘Love jihad’ has again come up as an issue. Society has apprehensions about it. As the issue has emerged again, the apprehensions about it should be cleared.”

In Pala constituency, which has a sizable chunk of Catholic votes, Jose is taking on sitting legislator and NCP (Kerala) leader Mani C Kappan. The Catholic Church in Kerala has consistently raised the alleged issue of “love jihad” and sought the support of BJP on this. Mani’s reference to the issue is being seen as an attempt to improve his prospects in Pala, where he faces a stiff challenge from Kappan.

Last week, the BJP manifesto had promised a ‘love jihad’ legislation. None of the parties in either the LDF or the opposition UDF has openly raised the issue.

After Uttar Pradesh brought in a law on this, the CPI (M) had deplored the move. CPI (M) state secretary and LDF convener A Vijayaraghavan had stated that “love jihad” is a concept being highlighted by forces of extreme Hindutva.

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