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Why not inclusive cabinet: Kannanthanam 

New Delhi: K.J. Alphons Kannanthanam, the first BJP leader from Kerala to make it to the Narendra Modi Ministry, is not one to mince his words. Hours after taking oath as Minister of the State on September 3, Kannanthanam said that Kerala had to be part of the “Modi scheme of things” if it did not want to be left behind.

Speaking about the BJP in Kerala, Kannanthanam conceded that there was a long way to go for the party in the State. “In all these years, people of Kerala have alternated between the Congress and the CPI(M). We have a Prime Minister who believes in New India, where everyone has food and every child goes to school; Kerala too has to be part of the ‘Modi scheme’ of things. When India is marching ahead, Kerala can’t be left behind,” he told The Hindu.

Currently, the BJP has one MLA in the 140-member Kerala Assembly. In the 2016 Assembly elections, the BJP and its four allies put together got a 15% vote share.

Commentators say that choosing Mr. Kannanthanam over other Kerala BJP leaders is an obvious effort to woo the Christian community in the State. BJP president Amit Shah, during his tour to Kerala in June, spent considerable time with bishops from various sections of Christian churches.

“I don’t really think the Prime Minister picks people on basis of their religion or caste. He chooses them on their competence. My biodata is not limited to my being Christian. At the same time, Modi government is for everyone and after all Christians too belong to India. What is the harm in having an inclusive Cabinet,” he said.

In 2006, he was elected to the Kerala Assembly from the Kanjirappally constituency as an Independent candidate supported by the CPI(M). In 2011, he quit the Assembly to join the BJP.

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3 Responses to Why not inclusive cabinet: Kannanthanam

  1. Jacob Kavunkal

    I had great appreciation for Mr. Alphonse Kannanthanam even as a Civil Officer at Delhi. But my problem is how even such highly intelligent and motivated person can be tolerant/ignore the craze for power and domination by fooling the masses. Who was responsible for the Godhara incident? The Times of India published the names of the persons reserved their seats in the ill-fated compartment out whom 57 were alive even after a month! Who got burned? Why nothing happened when Gujarat was burning that killed at least 12000 Muslims and destroyed their economy? What prompts the unpreventable attacks on the Christians after the new government took office? What good has come to the poor after the new government came in? Who benefited from the highly publicised demonetisation?

     
  2. Lourduraj

    Appointing Mr. Alphons as a minister is a lip service done by Mr. Modi for Christians in Kerala. It’s just that BJP wants to get certain foothold there before 2019. I wish the bishops, the christians, and catholics don’t fall a prey to such campaign. If Mr. Alphons thinks that beef should be eaten in Kerala, let him also tell Mr. Modi and the RSS that all in India will have right to eat what they want. He must tell Mr. Modi to release funds for NGOs and that persecution of Christians in North and Eastern India should stop. Mr. Alphons is only a lamb led to slaughter. This is an RSS trick. Christians should not fall a prey to this move of Mr. Modi.

     
  3. A. S. Mathew

    There is no doubt that he is an educated and capable administrator; Master’s in Economics-IAS and law degree with experience. Perhaps the most qualified among the Ministerial Candidates sitting at New Delhi.

    Presumably, the Modi/Amith strategy to woo the Christian community through appointing a person with a Christian name is very visible. The repeated attempts of Amith Shaw, the brain of the party tried in Kerala to sack the Christian hierarchy turned as a big failure; thus applying another strategy. The BJP/RSS is not at all having any love for the Christians. If they had an ounce of respect towards the Christian community of India, they never could have attempted in 2014 to take off the Christmas holiday from the Indian calendar which was miserably failed. At the appropriate time, they will attempt other tricks to demoralize and oppress the minority Christians of India.

    The attacks against the Christian have overall increased three times in India since BJP came into power. There were 441 attacks against the Christians in India in 2016, whereas by the middle part of 2017, 410 attacks already. 25% of the attacks are beating, physical abuse and bloodshed. The U.S. State Department has issued an unfavorable report of the minority persecution in India.

    Personally I knew one advocate George Kannanthanam half a century back; the Kannanthanam name is a popular name in Kerala. Also Fr. George Kannanthanam who is engaged in a great humanitarian ministry through the Catholic Church in Karnataka.

    But I fully disagree with the statement of Mr. Alphons Kannanthanam, that the second paragraph portraying PM Modi as the savior of India, his vision of food for every child going to school is totally untrue. In his three term rule of Gujarat, the village life has not improved at all, but got far worse without schools-healthcare centers and in the hygiene sector. PM Modi called Kerala as the Somalia, but when Arun Jaitly tried a tricky game plan to jump over Kerala with a Presidential rule, the Government of Kerala retaliated in kind exposing through national media that Kerala is no 1 in education-healthcare-hygiene-religious harmony etc in the nation, straightaway slapping at the holy land of India called Gujarat which is far behind all the Southern States of India in all the basic things of life.

    How Modi’s administration could block the funding of thousands of NGOs of India which were feeding millions of hungry young and old? What a compassionate leader of India?

    The BJP/RSS leaders of Kerala are now caught up in a friction flue attack. One movie star Suresh Gospi was dreaming to land at the Ministerial Chair, likewise one Yogi Kummanom who rode with Modi at the Cochin Metro was dreaming to get another seat. Now it seems like the leaders of the party in Kerala are discarded by the Gujarathi imperialism.

    Indeed, since the image of India is being tarnished around the world as an unsafe nation to visit due to the religious frictions, improving tourism in India is a big challenge for him. Wishing Sri. Kannanthanam all the best wishes.

     
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