Prime Minister Narendra Modi has met with representatives of the Jacobite faction alongside Union Minister V Muraleedharan and Mizoram Governor PS Sreedharan Pillai. The meeting follows Modi and Pillai’s interaction with the Orthodox faction on Monday. While the representatives of the Orthodox faction were unwilling to move away from the Supreme Court verdict, the Jacobite representatives told PM Modi about the denial of justice in the Court verdicts concerning both factions.
The Jacobite representatives were adamant about not enforcing the latest SC verdict, and Metropolitan Trustee Joseph Mar Gregorious told the Prime Minister that the Centre must bring back the Worship Act of 1991. The Act freezes the status of any place of worship as it was on August 15, 1947, and thus returning the Churches to the Jacobite faction. It would also prevent any others from making new claims about the past status of any place of worship.
“It was a hopeful discussion. As a faction whose legal rights have been denied, we have been able to communicate that concern with the Prime Minister. There are debates but it must all come to an end. When the SC verdict is fully implemented, the rights of the majority are denied. It is a matter of the people and their faith,” said the representatives after meeting with the PM. Following the interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Jacobite and Orthodox representatives discussed their concerns in the presence of Sreedharan Pillai.
Meanwhile, many believe that the PM’s interference in the matter is for the benefit of the BJP in Kerala with a focus on the upcoming assembly elections. However, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was welcoming of Narendra Modi mediating the discussions between the Jacobite and Orthodox factions and that he didn’t believe that there was any political intention to the matter.
Interacting with the media, the Mizoram Governor said that the problems between the two factions are deep-rooted and to solve they must be in sync with each other. He added that he is not getting into the merits of the apex court’s verdict and that he has a good relationship with the two factions. There have been many allegations against him for acting beyond his duties as a Governor, but he said that he is aware of the limits and boundaries of his duties and that his mediation isn’t a violation of that. He added that the representatives had requested it and that is how it led to the meeting.
Meanwhile, Jacobite faction representatives had met with Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan over the need to settle the church dispute by drafting a new law.
Moreover, the faction would also start a relay hunger strike in front of the Secretariat making similar demands.