Sacrament issue to tarnish party: CPI(M)

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Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 15 (UNI) The Communist Party of India (Marxist) today dismissed as ''mere political campaign under the guise of religion'' the controversy raked up by a section regarding the last sacrament of late party leader Mathai Chacko.

This was only a combined effort by a section to create unnecessary controversy and attack the Left Democratic Front, the party said in a statement here and added that the people would realise this.

Marking the first death anniversary of Mr Chacko in Kozhikode, party State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan had condemned Bishop Mar Paul Chittilapally's statement that Mr Chacko, who had represented Thiruvambady Assembly constituency, had received the Christian sacrament in his hospital bed at Kochi before succumbing to cancer.

Mr Vijayan had also refuted the claim of the Bishop that Chacko had received the sacrament in a conscious state of mind.

Even Mr Chacko's wife and brother had contradicted that he had received the sacrament consciously. This kind of campaign was only the handiwork of a section of the people who want to raise unnecessary controversy, it said.

The statement also criticised the Congress in Kerala for raising such a controversy and said they were trying to attack the Left by joining hands with a section of the Church.

Mr Vijayan had only protested against the attempt by the Church to insult Mr Chacko, who had led the life of a true comrade, it said.

Meanwhile, various Church organisations have come out against Mr Vijayan's statement. The Kerala Catholic Bishop's Council said it was condemnable as it hurt the religious sentiments of Christians.

UNI

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