Kerala High Court declared the election of CPM’s A Raja MLA void for manipulating his Hindu religion in the nomination paper. He was elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly in the 2021 elections from Devikulam, a reserved assembly constituency in the Idukki district.
Justice P Somarajan observed that Raja is not a ‘Hindu Parayan’ and is not qualified to be chosen to fill a seat in the assembly reserved for ‘Scheduled Caste’ Hindus. Interestingly, the same court has granted an interim stay of ten days for Raja to file an appeal in the Supreme Court against the High court order.
D Kumar of Congress, who lost to Raja, filed a petition before the High Court. Kumar argued that he knew Raja’s family from childhood, and they were Christians. The court examined details and found that Raja professed Christianity while submitting nomination papers, and his family had converted to Christianity long ago. Raja faked his religion and won the constituency by 7,848 votes.
Lies & Forgery
Kumar alleged that Raja’s family were Christian converts. Suspiciously, Kumar had drawn the attention of the Election Commission (EC) to this issue but in vain. The reason for the EC’s inaction remains unknown. Therefore, he moved to HC in June 2021 after the Assembly elections. Even now, the HC did not act against those who scrutinized Raja’s fake nomination papers.
Raja contended that his parents were Hindus and not Christian converts. He also disputed the allegations about his Baptism and that he had married as per Christian religious rites. The communist leader claimed in court that his wedding was conducted as per Hindu rituals.
Raja cited the presence of a Nilavilakku (traditional lamp used in Hindu temples and marriages) and Thalikettu (sacred thread worn by married Hindu women). The communist leader failed to provide evidence to substantiate these assertions. Raja argued that he did not ‘remember’ whether Bible was read on occasion, who handed over the Thali chain, and whether a Hindu priest solemnized the wedding.
There were several proofs of a Christian wedding. His wedding album confirmed that the marriage was conducted as per Christian traditions. When asked whether his mother marked a ‘cross’ on his forehead with a finger (a Christian wedding tradition), he replied that she had touched his forehead to bless. The court observed that the wedding photographs resembled that of Christian marriage.
Raja had submitted the Kundala CSI Church Family, Baptism, and Burial Registers in court. Justice Somarajan noted that there had been certain overwriting, corrections, and erasure of earlier entries. It was noticed that Raja’s parents’ names had been changed from Antony and Esther to Anpumani and Eshwari, respectively. Grandparents’ names had been changed from Lakshmanan and Pushpa to E. Remanan and Pushpamani.
Mistrustfully, a caste certificate issued by the Devikulam Tahsildar and submitted along with Raja’s nomination papers was allegedly allocated without ‘proper inquiry.’ The communist leader claimed the Tahsildar issued the certificate after complying with all legal formalities. He remained adamant the nomination documents were perfectly legal.
Raja’s paternal grandparents were Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu residents who had migrated to Idukki in 1951 as tea plantation laborers. His parents had been baptized by the CSI Church in 1992. Raja was baptized at the CSI Church, Kundara division. An estimated 65% of the Devikulam population are Tamil descendants, which has long been a hub of Christian conversion.
“All these would sufficiently show that the respondent was professing Christianity when he had submitted his nomination and converted to Christianity long before its submission. As such, after the conversion, he cannot claim as a member of the Hindu religion. On that score, the Returning Officer should have rejected his nomination. In short, on both grounds, it is clear that the respondent is not a Hindu Parayan within the State of Kerala and is not qualified to be chosen to fill a seat in the State of Kerala Legislative Assembly reserved for Scheduled Caste. Hence the election of the respondent as the returned candidate for the said constituency is declared void under Section 98 of the Representation of People Act, 1951,” the court held.
Once someone converts to another religion, they should not claim to be a Hindu or argue for reservations meant for Scheduled Caste Hindus. The Election Returning officer should have rejected Raja’s nomination but, for reasons best known to him, did not. The communist leader and the officer denied a Janjatiya Hindu a chance to fill the reserved seat.
Kumar did not claim to declare him the winner, and the court did not consider the matter. Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan said Congress would gear up for the by-election soon. He wanted a criminal case initiated against Raja for producing a bogus certificate and the returning officer who helped in the ‘crime.’
Congress president K Sudhakaran congratulated Kumar, who initiated the legal battle against Raja. He urged the CPM, “which has all types of criminal activities,” to publicly apologize for allowing Raja to contest the assembly election with forged documents. In that case, Congress Member of Parliament (MP) Kodukkunnil Suresh, too, should resign on moral grounds.
Earlier, Mavelikara MP, Suresh, had secured a favorable verdict from the Supreme Court in a similar case. Like Devikulam, Mavelikara is also a reserved constituency. Congress leader Suresh secured victory in the constituency in 2009. Suresh is a well-known crypto-Christian who acts Hindu to fool ordinary Hindus allegedly.
However, the Kerala High Court canceled the results stating that Suresh could not be considered a Janjatiya member. Suresh approached the Supreme Court, which ruled in his favor and canceled the HC order. The reasons were bizarre.
The Supreme Court accepted the High Court’s finding that Suresh was born and raised as a Christian. But, it also pointed out that Suresh had converted to Hinduism at 16! The SC judge noted that Suresh’s past victories in the polls prove that the community considered him one of them! Experts then opined that such illogical judgments prove the demerits of the allegedly leftist collegium-based legal system.
Raja is expected to contest the High Court’s order disqualifying him and file the Supreme Court appeal on Tuesday. Since all involved belong to the same ecosystem, judges might find a diplomatic conclusion hard to come by.
Greedy converts have tried to usurp reservations meant for underprivileged Hindus even after they embraced Christianity. Most political parties, including Congress and leftists, have supported this evil scheme. Only RSS and Sangh-inspired organizations have opposed such church-driven conversion moves. Organiser noted that leftist plans had not worked thanks to procedural technicalities.