Thalassery bishop promises votes for BJP if rubber price hiked to Rs 300

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Mar Joseph Pamplany | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Kannur: Thalassery Archdiocese Bishop Mar Joseph Pamplany assured to extend support to BJP if the union government raises the price of rubber to Rs 300. Addressing the protest rally of Catholic Congress at Alakode in Kannur, the bishop said that the archdiocese would help the BJP in Kerala and will overcome the situation of the BJP not having an MP from the state.

“The union government can raise the cost of rubber to Rs 250. We have to remember that the protests which cannot turn into votes have no value in democracy,” the bishop said.

“The farmers community in the high range can erase BJP’s despair of not having its own MP in the state, if the union government could procure rubber from farmers after fixing the support price at Rs 300”, added Mar Joseph Pamplany.

The open statement of the Catholic Bishop will have its tremors across the political spectrum of Kerala. Minister for Public Works and Tourism Mohammed Riyas was cautious in his response to the question on the Bishop's statement. When media persons asked him the question at Palakkad, the CPM leader said: "I haven't seen the statement of the Bishop. I will comment only after having seen the statement and in what context he has said so if at all he has spoken like that."

During the term of UDF government, the then Minister for Finance KM Mani had fixed the Minimum Support Price of rubber at Rs 150. Though the LDF government promised to increase the price to Rs 250 in their election manifesto, no action was taken in this regard later. At present the farmers are receiving only Rs 120, which is lower than the production cost and other expenditures.

Thalassery bishop’s statement came up at a time when BJP is attempting to build a stronghold among the Christian community for the upcoming Lok Sabha election. With inputs from IANS

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