It is an unusual sight– senior BJP and Left leaders sharing dais. A Christian organisation is bringing them together at a function to confer an award on BJP leader R Balashankar for “social commitment.”While home minister Rajnath Singh has been invited to inaugurate the 16th Annual Assembly and Felicitation Ceremony of the Indian Christian Movement (ICM), BJP general secretary Ram Madhav would be the chief guest and CPM politburo member and former Kerala minister MA Baby will deliver the key note address. The St George Puraskar will be presented by Salvatore Pennacchio, the Apostolic Nuncio of Vatican, at the ceremony on January 18, it will be attended by Bishops representing seven Christian churches of India.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We consider several aspects to adjudge a person’s social commitment and contribution to society,” said MV Sabu, secretary general of the ICM.Balashankar, the former editor of the RSS mouthpiece ‘Organiser’ and now with the BJP’s training cell, was also in the race to be appointed the Kerala BJP chief. According to party sources, Balashankar was assured the support of the Christian community in the poll-bound state where nearly 50 per cent of the population comprise minorities.”A combination of Christian organisations and representatives of the Pope awarding citation, I feel is a matter of honour and satisfaction since I have been part of the Hindu movement and the party is seen as pro-Hindu,” Balashankar said.He also pointed out that Kerala has a tradition of good relations between the two groups. “Its a recognition by the Christian community that they want to come close to us,” he said.This is not first time that the ICM has conferred the award on a BJP leader. O Rajagopal, the party’s most known face in the state, was given the award in 2013. Last year, it went to the Princess of Travancore for her contribution to social activities and earlier to TK Nair, principal secretary and advisor in the Manmohan Singh regime.Asked why politicians from other parties had not got the award, Sabu said, “We don’t consider them as politicians.”The BJP, which is targeting the ezhava, Nair and Christian vote, is hoping to make inroads into a state, where it has neither won a Lok Sabha nor assembly poll.

View article:  

Right, Left to share dais as Christian organisation awards BJP leader