Rubber price issue may be frivolous for Govindan; Will support BJP if they help farmers, says bishop

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Mar Joseph Pamplany | Screengrab: mbtv

Kannur: Thalassery Archdiocese Archbishop Mar Joseph Pamplany came out against the statement of CPM state secretary MV Govindan on the rubber price. The plummeting rubber price could be a trivial matter for MV Govindan but it is not the case of farmers living in the high ranges, slammed the bishop.

The bishop asserted that he was announcing the decision of the farmers and there is no need to misinterpret it as an alliance between the church and BJP. It was a decision formulated after holding discussions with the farmers. The community is willing to support any political party in the upcoming election which can stand for the cause of farmers, he added.

“Currently, the central government can consider a resolution regarding fixing the rubber price at Rs 300. Hence, I declared that the farmers are willing to support BJP if the party can resolve the issues related to rubber price. The rubber farmers in the state are in dire straits. Many of them are facing threats of confiscation and their only source of income is rubber farming. Whichever party extends support to farmers will be backed in the election. This decision has no other political motives”, said Mar Joseph Pamplany.

“Rubber farmers are not a minor community in Kerala. Over 15 lakhs of households are directly dependent on rubber farming for a livelihood. The production cost of one kilogram of rubber will cost at least Rs 220. However, the farmers are presently getting only Rs 120 per kilogram of rubber. The farmers will stand by the party which settles their financial distress”, said the bishop.

MV Govindan had criticised the bishop after the latter assured votes to BJP, if the party could raise the cost of rubber to Rs 300. “Is rubber price the sole issue of Christian community? The community has many other problems to resolve. How can someone urge the Christians to vote for BJP at a time when the party is hunting down the Christian believers in the North Indian states?”, asked MV Govindan.

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