Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said churches in Kerala should not indulge in politics.
Naidu, who is on a visit here, touched upon various issues during a chat with reporters.
“Churches should concentrate on spiritual issues and not indulge in politics,” said Naidu in reply to a question if churches in Kerala are an impediment to the growth of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state.
He said there would be no appeasement of the minority communities, but all are welcome to the BJP.
The BJP has one member in the 140-member Kerala Assembly. It is yet to open its account in the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha from Kerala.
“I am here as part of our party’s programme to be in the 120 Lok Sabha constituencies where we finished second in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. I will be meeting with my party leaders,” said Naidu.
Hitting hard at the Congress party, Naidu said no wise person can remain in the Congress as it’s a “sinking ship”.
“We however are not making any efforts to target Congress leaders in Kerala to join the BJP, but there are so many people from various parties approaching us,” said Naidu.
In the past one week there have been numerous media reports that a few senior leaders from the Congress party would join the Kerala unit of the BJP.
In reply to a question that Kerala does not have a representation in the Narendra Modi cabinet, Naidu shot back saying there are no seats in the cabinet for many who have won the Lok Sabha polls and hence Kerala will have to elect someone.
On the meeting of Congress leaders with the President of India on Wednesday, Naidu said the memorandum that they gave to the President is “very true of what the Congress did when they ruled the country”.
“Now they have a problem with the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and it’s because they lost states like Uttar Pradesh very badly. They however are not able to convince leaders like Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and senior leader M. Veerappa Moily.
“When they win elections, the EVMs are fine and when they lose, there is a problem. We did not bring in EVMs, instead it was first used in 1989 and the Congress won elections in 2004 and 2009. The Congress is devoid of issues and hence raises non-issues. It’s an absurd and baseless allegation that they are levelling,” said Naidu.