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Sunday, December 4, 2022

BJP MLA exposes Sikkim CM’s Secretary using his post to encourage conversion

A BJP MLA has accused Sikkim CM’s Political Secretary of promoting Christianity through his post. VHP has written to Home Minister Amit Shah attaching relevant news clippings of the secretary participating in Christian events. He has been accused of using his position which was accorded the status of an MoS to encourage conversion to Christianity.

Alok Kumar, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) International Working President wrote to Home Minister Amit Shah after he came to know about the conversion activities of Jacob Khaling Rai, Political Secretary of Sikkim Chief Minister from a BJP MLA. Narendra Kumar Subba, the BJP MLA from Sikkim’s Maneybung-Dentam constituency had met Alok Kumar and raised the issue.

He shared a compilation of news clippings reporting the public appearances of Jacob  Rai in events related to Christianity and Christian institutions and accused him of using his position to spread Christianity in the state. Following this, Alok Kumar wrote a letter to the Home Minister in which he said, “It is apparent from the news items that Mr. Rai is using his position to spread Christianity and conversion to Christianity in Sikkim  . I believe that the assignment of Political Secretary to the Chief Minister and responsibility of a pastor engaged in promoting Christianity are two different things and they shouldn’t be allowed to be mixed”.

Jacob Rai has denied the MLA’s allegations and called them unfounded. Speaking to The Hindu he said, “It isn’t my mistake that I was born a Christian, but I surely understand it is a blessing. However I carry no animosity towards any other religion and hold all faiths equally and my life stands witness to it”. He dared the MLA to file a case against him if he was so sure about his accusations.

While he tried to deflect the blame using humble language and eloquent words, he ‘chided’ the BJP MLA for “holding such animosity against a particular religion. It should be noted that the MLA had raised objections to promoting one particular religion and encouraging ‘conversion’ and did not make any comments against Christianity in general. 

Even though the position of a Political Secretary would mean taking care of the party related works of the CM, Jacob Rai appears to hold government posts as well. He was accorded the status of Minister of State when he was appointed as the Political Secretary. A month ago he was accused of trying to rape a woman. Sikkim Nagarik Samaj (SNS), a civil society organisation had claimed that the victim filed a complaint with the East Sikkim SP through post, as the local police had refused to accept the complaint. 

But later the victim told the media that she never filed the complaint and pressed defamation and other charges against SNS. The organisation had demanded that the CM should dismiss Jacob Rai from his position and ensure a fair investigation. In the meanwhile the victim was appointed as a member of the Sikkim State Commission for Women. 

Sikkim Krantikari Morcha(SKM) is ruling the state with Prem Singh Tamang as the CM. Jacob Rai is seen as a close aide of Tamang. BJP allied with SKM in 2019 for the bypolls. The two parties entered into a formal alliance in 2020. But the relationship has been degrading and the state BJP chief recently said that the party is losing faith in the alliance. He accused SKM of replacing BJP legislators with “SKM party in-charges” in concerned constituencies. He also said that the cadre is dissatisfied with the alliance and second-hand treatment met at the hand of the ruling party.

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