Plathottathil Chacko George, known as PC George, who was taken into custody by police from his residence in Erattupetta in Kottayam district on Sunday for his alleged controversial remarks against Muslims, has represented the Poonjar Assembly segment in Kerala for 33 years.
ASSEMBLY SEGMENT CHANGED IN 2011
Having started his career with the Kerala Congress, George was a close confidant of PJ Joseph.
Between 1980 and 2022, he won the 1980, 1982, 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016 elections. He was with the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) till 1991 and then shifted to the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) till 2006.
In 1987 and 2022, he was trounced by the LDF. After 2011 delimitation, the Assembly segment, which was a bastion of Syrian Christians, underwent a transformation, with a sizeable number of votes from the Muslim community which gave an upper hand to the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political wing of the Popular Front of India (PFI). It was no secret that the SDPI and George enjoyed a warm relationship for almost two decades.
In 2006, George, after a difference of opinion with Joseph, formed his own faction, Kerala Congress (Secular), and stayed with the LDF. However, his proximity to veteran V S Achuthanandan from his association during his agitations made him a target of his rivals within the CPM. Consequently, George did not get a berth in the LDF or the cabinet led by Achuthanandan.
Ditched by the LDF, George became friends with veteran Kerala Congress leader KM Mani, his bete noir for almost three decades. The new friendship was mutually beneficial till Joseph left the LDF to join the UDF.
George, who was the Vice-Chairman of Kerala Congress (M), did not get a ministership as the UDF came to power. However, he managed to grab the post of Government Chief Whip with cabinet status from 2011 to 2015 and made sure the UDF ran a government with a wafer-thin majority comfortably.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
George has two sons. The elder, Shone George, is married to Parvathy, daughter of veteran actor Jagathy Sreekumar, and is a member of Kottayam district panchayat. He won the division in 2020 after defeating three major fronts.
FOOT IN MOUTH
George had to quit the post as well as his party due to his statements, which put the party and the government on the wrong foot. Although he expected an entry into the LDF, it was denied due to his past equation with Achuthanandan as well his vitriolic statement against his own men.
In 2016, he became an independent candidate and shocked the three major fronts led by CPM, Congress and BJP by winning his home turf by a record margin of 27,821 votes and 43.65% of polled votes. He emerged as the first independent candidate in two decades to win an assembly segment without the support of any political front. The SDPI was the only political party which offered support to George.
The phone conversation where George made derogatory remarks against Muslims in his constituency was leaked and the age-old friendship died in a day.
It was after the 2016 win that George turned towards the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In 2017, he became an ally of the NDA, after forming Kerala Jana Paksham, giving hopes to the BJP, which was desperately looking for a Christian face in the state.
However, his honeymoon with the BJP did not last long and he parted ways with the NDA after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as BJP state president K Surendran could receive a mere 30,990 votes from George’s constituency.
LET THE TIRADES BEGIN
In 2021, he fought again as an independent, but finished second as he was defeated by an LDF candidate. According to him, Muslims, the community which enjoyed his patronage, ditched him and he started anti-Muslim tirades. He became a darling of the clergy with his unconditional support to Bishop Franco Mulakkal following the rape allegation raised by a nun.
Addressing a programme organised as part of the ongoing Ananthapuri Hindu Maha Sammelan on Friday, he alleged that tea laced with drops causing impotence was sold in Muslim-run restaurants to turn people infertile in a bid to seize control of the country.
The 71-year-old politician had earlier urged non-Muslims to boycott businesses run by Muslims.
Police on Saturday registered a case against George alleging that his speech promoted religious hatred. They took suo motu action against the former legislator on the directions of state police chief Anil Kant.