Thrissur (Ker), March 30: With Kerala Assembly polls inching closer, CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan today met Thrissur Archbishop Mar Andrews Thazhath in a bid woo the Catholic Church here ahead of the release of its candidate list.
Balakrishnan met the Archbishop at the Bishop's house and held discussions. "We normally meet prominent persons and exchange views and when an opportunity arose, this meeting with the Archbishop was held," Balakrishnan told reporters after the meeting.
"We had a friendly discussion," he said, adding, LDF maintained cordial relations with everyone. The Church's stand and needs were made clear by the church leaders and they handed over a letter to Balakrishnan.
A neck and neck race is expected in the Kerala Assembly elections slated for May 16 as the outcome is crucial for the ruling Congress-led UDF, CPI(M)-led LDF and also BJP.
Asked about former Government Chief Whip P C George, who was denied a ticket by the LDF, he said,"CPI(M) was not the enemy of P C George. But his biggest enemy was his tongue," he said. The meeting with the Archbishop is significant as the party had differences with the Church on certain matters earlier.
The Catholic Church had few years ago written a pastoral letter recommending a "liberation struggle" on the lines of the one in 1950's to liberate the education sector in Kerala from the state control to enable private managements charge fees and capitation fees without government's intervention.
This was not taken kindly by the then party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan who had demanded withdrawl of the letter. Vijayan had also in 2007 called Thamarassery Bishop a "wretched creature".