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Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], October 3 (ANI): The Diocese of Idukki suspended a priest after he joined the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in Idukki.

Fr. Kuriakose Mattam, Parish priest of Mankuva St.Thomas church took the primary membership of BJP in Idukki. After he took the BJP party membership, he was allegedly removed from the post of Parish priest.

A circular issued by the Diocese of Idukki, Syro Malabar Catholic Church informed that Fr. Kuriakose Mattam has been temporarily removed from the charges of Parish priest.

"Even though I am an old man, updated in day today affairs. I don't think BJP is a party in which Christians can not join . I don't have membership in any political party. I had understand about the working of BJP in Kerala. I don't feel that BJP is a party which Christians can not join. BJP should be seen as a political party, I don't think it as a party which Christians can not join", Former priest Father Kuriakose told reporters.

"About 40-45 years back , a delegation of the Marxist party from Thiruvananthapuram was passing through here and I had attended and presided over their meeting. I consider it like that . In the new period I don't consider BJP as a party which catholic people can not join" he reiterated.

The Idukki district unit of the BJP has welcomed the priest into the party.

"BJP very happily welcomes the entry of a priest into the party. This is the first time that a priest joins BJP .In the present situation when BJP is trying to hold the minority communities many political parties and leaders are propagates lie against it." Aji KS BJP Idukki district president told ANI..

Parish priest of Mankuva St. Thomas Church took the primary membership of BJP in the Idukki district.

Earlier, in a separate incident an Anglican priest in Thiruvananthapuram, KG Manoj,who undertook a pilgrimage to Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala, returned his'church license' to the Anglican Church of India following a disciplinary action against him. (ANI)

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