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Why I Joined The BJP

By SHOBHA WARRIER
February 13, 2024 15:34 IST
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'It will be the end of the Congress after the Lok Sabha election.'
'Many Congressmen and even Communists will move to the BJP.'

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi at a road show in Thriprayar. Thrissur, Kerala. Photograph: ANI Photo

P C George, the maverick politician from Kerala had had association with both the Congress-led United Democratic Front and the Left Democratic Front before he was shunned by both the fronts.

In fact, the talk is that he made more enemies in both camps than friends.

Still, he survived and floated his own party, the Kerala Janapaksham (Secular), which joined the National Democratic Alliance in 2019.

On January 31, George joined the BJP and merged his party with the BJP.

It was a major victory for the BJP to get an influential Christian leader from Kerala into its fold.

Never a person to mince words, P C George tells Rediff.com's Shobha Warrier why he joined the BJP.

 

What made you take the decision to join the BJP and also merge your party with the BJP?

Kerala has become a state that is totally destroyed. After the LDF and the UDF taking turns to rule, the state has a debt of Rs 4 lakh crores. Farmers are committing suicide.

The field of education has collapsed. Youngsters from this state are forced to leave their hometown as there are no opportunities here.

There is a chief minister here who is only interested in amassing wealth through devious ways.

A country like Sri Lanka collapsed when it had a debt of Rs 3-and-a-half lakh crores.

Imagine this small state of Kerala has a debt of Rs 4 lakh crore rupees!

You mean, both the UDF and the LDF are responsible for this state of affairs?

(Do you have) Any doubt about that? Were they not ruling the state one after another, taking turns? Both are crooks, and finally took Kerala to this pathetic situation.

There is no difference between the two; both looted the state.

And now! They have joined hands to form the INDIA alliance. After that, the Opposition has no standing to question Pinarayi (Vijayan, Kerala's chief minister) on the way he is destroying the state.

It was seeing them coming together made me realise I should stand with a leader who is admired all over the world, against whom nobody could raise a single corruption charge. I wanted to do it for the benefit of the state of Kerala.

That's why I joined the BJP. Not only that, our party decided that all members of the party will be members of the BJP, and hereafter, there will be no Kerala Janapaksham Secular party in Kerala.

IMAGE: People welcome Modi at a roadshow in Kochi. Photograph: ANI Photo

Your party has the word secular in it. But the BJP is one party that does not like the words 'secular' and 'socialist' in the preamble of the Constitution...

Yes, we had secular in our party. But when I realised that there is no point in holding onto it that I decided to join the BJP.

You should understand that the BJP is not against any religion. It is the propaganda unleased by the Opposition that the BJP is against other religions.

I agree the majority of BJP members are Hindus. That does not mean people belonging to other religions are not there in the party.

There are many non-Hindus in the BJP, and many more non-Hindus are joining also.

They are not proclaiming that theirs is a secular party. But I have not heard them say they are a Hindu party.

Yes, RSS is a Hindu organisation. But BJP is a political party, and it is not a Hindu party, and anyone can join the party.

Many believe that the BJP wants to make India a Hindu Rashtra.
Are you worried about such an eventuality when India has people belonging to all religions?

That's what you believe, sister. That's not the truth.

Take the case of Kerala. Are the LDF and UDF not with Islamic groups like the Popular Front? Why are you not talking about that?

Such groups do not have any respect for the Indian Constitution.

Why are you not talking about the association of the LDF and the Congress with such groups? Why do you want to only criticise the BJP?

You can take from me, the party will march forward in Kerala too.

I am a Christian. Do you know Christians in Kerala are converts of Hindus? It is not that we came from Rome. We all follow Hindu culture.

IMAGE: Bharatiya Janata Party President J P Nadda, fourth from left, welcomes P C George, fifth from left, Shaun George and others into the BJP, January 31, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

When the BJP came to power, many Christian organisations said the minorities felt alienated.
When violence in Manipur escalated, many Christians expressed the view that the attacks were against Christians and the churches.
As a Christian, did you ever feel alienated?

As a Christian, I felt like laughing when people speak such nonsense. I feel pity for them. P C George will never be with those who speak nonsense.

What happened in Manipur? If you say Modi is responsible for the attacks in Manipur, you can say Jawaharlal Nehru is also responsible. Lal Bahadur Shastri is also responsible. Indiraji is also responsible.

Are all the prime ministers of India not responsible?

What happened in Manipur was communal violence. It has nothing to do with attacks on Christians. It was the Kuki Christians fighting against Meitei Christians.

All of them are Christians, and what you see is violence between two communities.

Now, the Christians of Kerala also have realised the truth. That's why they are not talking about it now.

So, nobody needs to criticise the BJP using Manipur as an issue.

And if the prime minister says something about it, it will only aggravate the situation. So, Modi was right in not commenting on the issue.

So far, the BJP has not been able to make a dent in Kerala politics.
Do you expect the BJP to perform well in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and later in the 2026 assembly elections?

The BJP will win at least 5 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala. It may even win more than 5.

It will be the end of the Congress after the Lok Sabha election. Many Congressmen and even Communists will move to the BJP.

In the next assembly election in 2026, the BJP will either be the main Opposition party, or even the ruling party.

IMAGE: Sadhus warmly welcome Modi (unseen) on his arrival in Ayodhya, January 22, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

When did you start seeing Narendra Modi as a good administrator?

Forget about me, the people of India admire him as the greatest leader India has ever produced. The entire country is behind Modi.

People are asking, is there anyone other than Modi to rescue this country? Even in Kerala, people feel that way.

Even Congress President (Mallikarjun) Kharge said in Parliament that the BJP will win more than 400 seats! (laughs)

You should understand that Modi is ranked first among world leaders! All Indians are proud that an Indian leader is the tallest beating all the other world leaders.

Do you feel it was right on the prime minister to participate in a religious ceremony like the pran pratishta at Ayodhya,?

It was 100% right. There is no other person in India who is more suitable to do the pran pratishta.

Do you know he fasted and slept on the floor for 10 days, preparing himself for the puja? Has any pujari ever followed such strict rules?

Some Hindus even say Modiji is the 11th avatar of Maha Vishnu!

You should understand that's how people perceive him today.

IMAGE: P C George

You think he is as formidable as Indira Gandhi?

Indiraji was a good person, and a good prime minister. I had travelled with her in her jeep when she came Pala as the prime minister of India. I have great respect for her.

But you cannot compare Indiraji with Modi. He is the greatest prime minister India has ever seen. We have to respect a person who has dedicated his life to the country.

There is no Indian administrator who has risen to such heights on the world stage like Modi. I am not saying this, I am just quoting a Gallup poll.

So, you feel he will come back as prime minister in the coming election because of the Ayodhya wave?

You don't need any Ayodhya wave. He will come back without Ayodhya also.

Like it has been widely reported, are you going to stand from Pathanamthitta?

It is immaterial from where I am going to contest. It all depends on what the party says. If they want me to contest, I will.

If they do not want, I will not. I am not interested in such things.

I joined the BJP without any conditions. I joined because I feel proud of what Modi has done for the country.

Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/Rediff.com

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