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Reconsider Devaswom Bill: Chennithala

Special Correspondent

KANNUR: Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala has called on the State government to review its decision to get the Travancore-Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions (Amendment) Bill passed in the Assembly.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a district-level protest of the Kerala Karshaka Congress in front of the District Collectorate on Tuesday, Mr.Chennithala said the government's plan to unilaterally introduce the Bill was undemocratic.

‘Mobilise consensus'

Calling for efforts to mobilise consensus on the Bill, he said there was a serious concern that the alleged move to intervene in the Devaswom administration might be extended to the administration of other religious endowments.

He said there was no need of any haste in getting the Bill passed, since it had already evoked strong public sentiments against it. He also said there should not be any measure that hurts the sentiments of the faithful.

It was feared that the amendment that now affected the Hindus would affect other religions tomorrow. If the government did not withdraw the move, the Devaswom administration would be in disarray, he added.

The government should not think that the majority it had in the Assembly could be used to hurt the sentiments of the majority community. All religious sections had expressed their objection to the Bill, he added.

Responding to a query on the resolutions of a recent conference of the Youth Congress, Mr. Chennithala said the resolutions should have been a little more moderate. Some words in the resolutions should have been avoided, he added. The resolutions were reportedly critical of the ‘raw deal' the youth organisation had received from the Congress.

Collectorate march

Earlier, inaugurating a Collectorate march, Mr. Chennithala said the anti-Centre agitation would no more work in the State. The State government was not taking any step against price rise and hoarding, while the Central government had initiated steps to fight price rise, including slashing of import tax.

The State government should strengthen Maveli Stores and act against hoarding and black marketing. Communist Party of India (Marxist) workers should have staged their protest in front of the Chief Minister's residence instead of organising five-day protest in front of post offices, he added.

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