Conversion of Hagia Sophia, Love Jihad to be a factor in central Kerala constituencies

Issues like conversion of the ancientHagia Sophia church in Turkey to a mosque, incidents of LoveJihad and harassment of nuns in a moving train in UttarPradesh, will be reflected in the April 6 assembly polls, sayvoters in Christian dominated Central Kerala constituencies.

Several heavyweights,including senior Congress leader andformer Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Kerala Congress(M) leaderJose K Mani, a key partner of the CPI(M)-led LDF, two RajyaSabha BJP MPs K J Alphons and Suresh Gopi are trying theirluck from the constituencies, spread across Ernakulam, Idukki,Kottayam and parts of Thrissur.

Central Kerala is considered a stronghold of the Congressled UDF, but the LDF put up a strong show in the December 2020civic polls, winning many local body seats.


BJP-led NDA is also trying to make inroads in these areasby reaching out to the Catholic Church, raising the issueslike “Love Jihad” and “Hagia Sophia”.

Their campaigns saw senior BJP leaders, including unionministers, supporting the Churchs views on the issue.

Both the rival fronts, the LDF and UDF are concerned overBJPs growing proximity to the Church on these matters, buthave remained silent, fearing a Muslim backlash in the polls.

Their campaigns focus on attacks in the country againstpeople of the minority communities, allegedly by right wingoutfits under the BJP rule.

Both CPI(M) and Congress have sought to corner the BJPover the alleged harassment of the nuns.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, addressing a poll rallyin Thrissur last week, flayed Prime Minister Narendra Modissilence on the matter.

M Alexander, associated with activities of the CatholicChurch in Pala, said the faithful have strong views on “LoveJihad”, conversion of Hagia Sophia church in Turkey to amosque and the harassment of nuns in a train in Uttar Pradesh,allegedly by activists of Sangh Parivar.

“People discuss these issues in various platforms,including in our families. But we dont know how these issuesare going to get reflected in the elections,” he told

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)

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