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Four Christian priests join BJP's Kerala unit

George Iype in Kochi | February 19, 2004 14:49 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party's Kerala unit has announced that four Christian priests are joining it.

"This proves that the BJP is a party for all Indians, irrespective of whether they are Hindus, Muslims or Christians," BJP state president P S Sreedharan Pillai told rediff.com

Senior BJP leaders will come down when Abraham Thomas, Thomas David, J J Kochuparambil and K Christy John join the party sometime next week.

Abraham Thomas and Thomas David belong to the Church of South India; Kochuparambil manages the Anglican Church at Kurichi village in Kottayam district; and John is a pastor in the Pentecostal Church.

Abraham Thomas said working for the BJP would be "another kind of vocation" for him. "I like the BJP as a political party and the way the party is governing India. I am joining the BJP to prove that the party is not anti-minority," he told rediff.com

Abraham Thomas, who became a priest after 20 years of service in the Indian Air Force, said he would try to change the perception of Christians about the BJP.

"India is indeed shining these days because of the Vajpayee government," Thomas David said. "I am joining the BJP because I am convinced that only a BJP-led government can sustain this progress and development."

The two priests have asked permission from church authorities to join the BJP. "I am sure my church would not deny permission to myself getting a BJP membership," Abraham Thomas added.

It is not the first time that Kerala priests have joined political outfits. In 2001, the late priest Mathai Nooranal of the Malankara Orthodox Church contested the assembly election from the Sulthan Bathery constituency in Wayanad district.

Nooranal, who was supported by the Communist Party of India, Marxists, lost.

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