Hours after a Catholic priest in Kerala took membership of BJP on Monday, he was temporarily moved out as Vicar of the St Thomas Catholic Church in Idukki district, which he led.
The ‘marching orders’ were given by the Idukki diocese of Catholic Church to which he is attached. BJP sources claimed that this is the first time a Catholic priest in Kerala has joined the saffron party.
Earlier in the day, the Kerala unit of the BJP got a prize catch after the 62-year-old Catholic priest, Rev Kuriakose Mattem, joined the saffron party.
Speaking to IANS, BJP's Idukki district President K.S. Aji said the party is presently running a membership campaign.
“After we came to know that Rev Kuriakose Mattem was interested in joining our party, we went and met him and he agreed that he will take party membership which has been given,” said Aji.
“Rev Kuriakose Mattem is of the opinion that there is a wrong impression about the BJP, as many things are not correctly presented,” Aji said.
“I don’t agree to the common belief that the BJP is not the party for Christians,” said Mattem.
In Kerala, Christians constitute about 18 per cent of the state's 3.30 crore population.