Kerala: Hadiya’s father joins BJP

KOTTAYAM: Ashokan K M, father of Hadiya, a Kerala woman who converted to Islam has joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.

BJP spokesperson B Gopalakrishnan gave Ashokan, the party membership at BJP’s Sabarimala Protection meeting on Sunday.

Saying that he was a Communist Party follower since childhood, Ashokan, an ex-serviceman alleged, “the party is playing dirty vote-bank politics with an eye on minority votes… Like many Hindus of Kerala, I am also torn between my belief and law. I personally believe customs and traditions should not come under the purview of courts. Let religious scholars and other decide on such issues,” a report in Hindustan Times quoted Ashokan as saying.

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“Even though I had joined BJP three years ago, I received the official membership only on Sunday. The membership was handed over to me by the state spokesperson of BJP at the Sabarimala Protection meeting,” Ashokan said.

Hadiya, 26, earlier Akhila Ashokan, had hit the headlines after she embraced Islam and married Shafin Jahan, a Muslim. Hadiya’s father alleged that she was a victim of so-called ‘love jihad‘ and forcibly converted by groups with links to terrorist outfits.

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In her affidavit to the Supreme Court, Hadiya said, “It appears to me that my father is under the influence of certain sections of people who are trying to use him. Otherwise, I do not see how my father, who is an atheist, would object to me changing my religion or marrying someone from a different religion,” she had said.