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Give Rs 300 MSP for rubber, will support BJP: Kerala church leader | india news

Kozhikode: An Archbishop of Kerala has said rubber Planters and their families will “ensure” an MP from the state for the BJP if the Center fixes a minimum price of Rs 300/kg for their produce – more than double the current level of Rs 120/kg.
Thalassery Archbishop Mar Joseph Pamplani’s call comes amid sustained efforts by the BJP national leadership to build bridges with church leaders with an eye on Christian votes in the state.
He said, ‘Tell the central government that whoever their party may be, we will vote for you and make you win. If you buy rubber from farmers after fixing MSP 300, we the settler community will end your regret of not having a single MP from the state,” Pamplani told a farmers rally organized by the Catholic Congress in Alacode on Saturday.
He told the gathering that in a democracy, any protest that does not translate into votes does not serve any purpose. “The reason why successive governments have failed to respond to the farmers’ rights is because the settler (rubber) farmers were too late to understand it,” he said.
Pamplani later told reporters that his statements should not be misinterpreted as being in favor of an alliance between the Catholic Church and the BJP. He said that he has not talked about helping BJP, only the settled farmers will stand with those who help. He said that as the party at the Centre, it was the BJP which was currently in a position to take policy decisions to help rubber farmers.
“What I said was rubber farmers, who are facing a grave crisis, will support whoever helps them, be it the BJP at the Center or the LDF or the Congress in the state. There are about 15 lakh families of rubber farmers in the state and they are getting only Rs 120 per kg for rubber, while the cost of production is Rs 220.
The archbishop clarified that what he said reflected the sentiments of the farmers and not the decision of the Catholic Church.
Responding to a question, Pamplani said that no party is untouchable for the Catholic Church and added that nothing can stop it from holding discussions with the BJP as it is in power in the country.
On a remark by CPM state secretary MV Govindan that rubber prices were not the only issue when efforts were being made to create a communal divide and turn India into a Hindu Rashtra, Pamplani said the product rates were being raised by the Left leader. Can be a silly case for. But it was not so for the farmers.


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