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BJP to make issue of ‘narcotics jihad’ in Kerala, central government to talk to church heads

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Recently, a bishop from Kerala had commented on love jihad and narcotics jihad. Since then, there has been a political uproar in the state. The central government can also intervene in this issue. On Thursday, BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Suresh Gopi said that the central government will soon hold a meeting with the church heads of the state to discuss their concerns. A day earlier, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan rejected the opposition’s suggestion that an all-party meeting be convened to discuss the controversial statement of ‘narcotic jihad’ by a Catholic bishop.

Actor-turned-politician Gopi said it was planned to hold such a meeting long back but it will be expedited considering the current situation in the state. Supporting Pala Bishop Joseph Kalrangat, Gopi said the bishop has not spoken ill of any community. His statement of ‘narcotic and love jihad’ has created a controversy in the southern state.

“The central government will give an opportunity to the affected community (in this matter) to convey their concerns,” Gopi told reporters here. It was planned to hold a two-day meeting of church heads in 2019 itself. Taking note of the Chief Minister’s statement that there is no factual basis for ‘narcotic jihad’, the Rajya Sabha member said that no former police chief has so far dismissed the concerns expressed by the Catholic priest.

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The “Kaliyattam” actor said his approach is also not to offend any community, but as the chief minister said social evil cannot be overlooked for this. He asked, ‘If there is a social evil, then should we not eliminate it from the beginning?’ Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Vijayan rejected the demand of opposition parties to convene an all-party meeting to resolve the problem and said the statement was not made by a person belonging to any political party.

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