CPM publicly censures ex-MLA in Kerala for comment against interfaith marriage

The Kozhikode district committee of the CPI(M) on Wednesday publicly censured former party legislator George M Thomas for his recent comment that “love jihad is a reality and interfaith marriage by a party worker shattered the religious harmony in the region”.

According to the CPI(M) constitution, ‘public censure’ is the third harshest disciplinary action, starting from warning, followed by censure, public censure, removal from a party post, and dismissal from the party membership.

The disciplinary action against Thomas, who is a district secretariat member of the party in Kozhikode, was taken at a meeting of the party’s district committee. The action against Thomas, the lone Christian face of the party in the district, came a day after the state leadership said that his statement was against the party’s stand on the issue.

After the meeting, CPI(M)’s district secretary P Mohanan told the media that Thomas’s comment on interfaith marriage was against the secular stand of the party. “He understood the mistake and tendered an apology. As he realises the gravity of the issue, the party decided to publicly censure him. The disciplinary action against Thomas was taken unanimously. As he corrected the mistake immediately after the anti-party statement, there will not be any further disciplinary action,” said Mohanan.

Last week, local DYFI leader M S Shejin, who is a Muslim, married his lover Jyotsna Joseph, a Christian nurse, and her community raised an alarm. Joining the concern of the community, Thomas had said the young comrade’s action “has shattered the communal harmony in the region and the party may take action against Shejin”. Thomas went on to say that “love jihad is a reality and even party document had attested it”, embarrassing the CPI(M).

To salvage the party’s image, the CPI(M) district leadership had called it a ‘slip of tongue’. Party’s youth front DYFI, too, had come out in support of Shejin.

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