When the names of the people in the present term’s cabinet were doing the rounds, V Abdurahiman was touted to be in charge of Minority Affairs

Pinarayi Vijayan in a press meet PTI photoPTI
news Politics Saturday, May 22, 2021 - 09:59

In an unexpected move, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has taken over the Minorities Affairs portfolio, a move that has reportedly displeased the Muslim community.  The second Pinarayi Vijayan government with 20 cabinet ministers was sworn in on May 20. The official list of the portfolios of ministers was released on May 21 with one unexpected change — the portfolio of Welfare of Minorities was taken over by the Chief Minister himself, which is usually handled by other cabinet ministers.

During this government’s previous term, the Welfare of Minorities department was handled by KT Jaleel, who was also the minister for Higher Education. In the United Democratic Front government led by the Congress, the portfolio was handled by Manjalamkuzhy Ali, a Muslim minister from the Indian Union Muslim League. When the names of the people in the present term’s cabinet were doing the rounds, V Abdurahiman was touted to be in charge of Minority Affairs but that changed in the final list. A few Muslim organisations have expressed their displeasure and they feel that this was done by Pinarayi Vijayan to appease the Christian community.

"The Muslim community is a minority. They have faith in me and the LDF government. The Indian Union of Muslim League, who is criticising this, doesn't have a monopoly over the community," the Chief Minister said in response.

This was also reportedly bolstered by a purported letter of the Kerala Catholic Youth Movement to their bishop that adequate steps should be taken to prevail upon Pinarayi that this department should either be taken over by the Chief Minister, if not given to a Christian minister, doing the rounds. The Kerala Catholic Bishop's Council, meanwhile, has reportedly welcomed the move. Incidentally, Mizoram Governor and former BJP President of Kerala PS Sreedharan Pillai has said that Cardinal George Alencherry, the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, has raised "very important issues", particularly concern that 80% of the funds for the minority community are going to one particular community and the entire Christian community is getting just 20%.

Of the 3.34 crore Kerala population, Muslims account for 88.73 lakh, while the Christian population stands at 61.41 lakh.

(With IANS inputs)

 

 

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.