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Ex-CPI (M) MP KS Manoj from Kerala to join Congress

Last Updated: Friday, May 14, 2010 - 13:04

Thiruvananthapuram: Former CPI-M MP Dr KS Manoj, who left the party last year questioning its stand on issues of faith and religious freedom, has decided to join the
Congress.

Manoj, elected to the Lok Sabha from Alappuzha in 2004 but lost to Congress KC Venugopal in the last elections, said he has conveyed his wish to join the Congress to Kerala PCC chief Ramesh Chennithala and his response was `encouraging`.

"This is a decision born out of my conviction that the Congress is the strongest secular and democratic political platform in the present Indian context," Manoj told a news agency.

A medical doctor, now working in St Stephen’s Hospital in
New Delhi, Manoj said he was keen to be back in public life
before the civic elections in Kerala, due to be held in a few
months from now.

Associated with the Catholic Youth Movement in his student
days, Manoj was lured to the CPI-M on the eve of the 2004
Parliament elections as part of the party’s strategy of
broadbasing the Left’s support among minorities.

He, however, resigned the CPI-M membership a few months
ago voicing serious reservations over the party’s rectification document, which asked senior leaders and functionaries to refrain from participating in religious ceremonies and rituals.

Manoj, who was a local CPI-M committee member in Alappuzha, held that such diktats went against Indian ethos and Constitution and it was all the more difficult for him to
follow such decrees since he is a practising believer.

CPI-M leadership, however, had rejected the ex-comrade?s
arguments saying the party did not issue any fatwa against
belief or faith but only expected greater Marxist-orientation
from lead comrades holding party positions.

PTI



First Published: Friday, May 14, 2010 - 13:04

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