Saji Cherian, who stepped down as Fisheries minister in the Pinarayi Vijayan Ministry over his alleged remarks insulting the Constitution, is all set to return to the cabinet. The searing in is scheduled for January 4.
The Communist Party of India (CPI-M) State secretariat gave its approval for the Chenganoor MLA’s return as a Minister. The CPI (M) said that the police gave him a clean chit in the ‘anti-Constitution speech’ case. Moreover, the High Court had also dismissed pleas that sought to disqualify him as MLA. In these circumstances, the party did not think any wrong in bringing back Cherian.
STAUNCH VIJAYAN SUPPORTER
The return of Cherian, known as a staunch supporter of Pinarayi Vijayan, is no surprise. Though stepped down as minister, speculation was quite strong that he would be reinstated once getting a clean chit. Though got a clean chit from the police as well as the High Court dismissing pleas to disqualify him as MLA, the Thiruvalla Magistrate Court is still to pronounce the verdict.
His election to the party secretariat in 2022, though was a surprise for many, was nothing but the elevation of a staunch supporter. In his earlier political career, Cherian was a staunch follower of G Sudhakaran. Later he became a confident of Vijayan.
Despite his resignation as Minister, no other leader was chosen in his place. The party, especially Vijayan, did not want a replacement and was waiting for the finer moments to reinstate him.
CHERIAN AND THE CONTROVERSY
Cherian made the controversial remarks about the Constitution at a CPI(M) programme at Mallappally in Pathanamthitta on July 3. In the video that went viral, he was shown referring to the Constitution as “British-crafted and anti-working class”. He stated that the Constitution “condones exploitation” and it was written in a way that helps to “plunder” the people of the country.
CHERIAN AND THE CHURCH
Cherian no doubt acted as a bridge connecting various Christian groups with the party. He is no doubt a prominent Christian minority face from central Kerala. Despite a member of the CSI, he had good relation, quite personal, with bishops of all churches. And everyone knows that these relations had led to his glorious victory from Chenganoor constituency, which was once a UDF stronghold.
CHERIAN AND PARTY STAND
The CPI(M) has clearly stated that Cherian can take oath as a minister after the High Court dismissed the pleas seeking his removal as MLA. There is nothing wrong in taking oath as a minister as an MLA. Moreover, the party feels that the Governor have no other option but it is his constitutional duty to sear in a person nominated by the Chief Minister.
Moreover, the party said that Cherian was not punished for the controversial speech. As such, he can be a minister, they added.
Soon after the decision, Cherian told reporters said that he resigned from the cabinet upholding moral values. Noting that the he had utmost respect for the constitution, he said that the police after six months of investigation submitted the report before the Thiruvalla court. He also mentioned that there were no legal obstacles to become a Minister again.
CHERIAN AND OPPOSITION
Crying out against the decision to reinstate Cherian, the Congress decided to observe black day on the day of the searing in. The party would also explore legal options. Leader of the Opposition V D Satheesan termed it “a challenge” to the people of Kerala. He stated that the circumstances that led to Cherian’s resignation remained the same.
Alleging that Cherian had denigrated the Constitution, he said that the police did not investigate in a proper manner. Moreover, the court is yet to pronounce the verdict.
In the latest episode over controversy regarding Church, Saji Cherian criticized bishops who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Christmas day, accusing them of indulging in wine and cake during the meeting while neglecting to address the issue of Manipur violence.
During the Christmas week, PM Modi engaged with Christian leaders, predominantly bishops representing various denominations. The Prime Minister highlighted his long-standing, close, and warm relations with the Christian community during the interaction, which included dignitaries from Kerala. Later Saji Cherian retracted from the statement.