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Controversy over calendar

Controversy is brewing over the distribution of a calender, showing Union minister of state for law, PC Thomas, being blessed by Pope John Paul II, in his constituency, Muvattupzuha.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Kochi
PUBLISHED ON APR 19, 2004 03:49 PM IST

Controversy is brewing over the distribution of a calender, portraying Union minister of state for law, PC Thomas, being blessed by Pope John Paul II, in Muvattupzuha parliamentary constituency, from where Thomas is contesting.

According to Thomas the calender was printed by a voluntary organisation several months ago.

However, the Kerala Congress(M), an ally of the ruling congress(I) led UDF in Kerala has complained to the Ernakulam district administration about it. Jose K Mani, son of Kerala Congress (M) President and Revenue minister, KM Mani, is the UDF candidate from the constituency.

According to Kerala Congress(m) sources the main aim of the distribution was to woo the majority Christian vote bank of the constituency. The minister's proximity with the NDA had allegedly tarnished his image among Christian voters, they said.

This is the first time Thomas, who has represented the constituency since 1989 consecutively in the lower house, is contesting as the candidate of Indian Federal Demcratic Party (IFDP), an ally of the BJP-led NDA. The party was floated by him after his expulsion from the Kerala Congress (M).

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