Principal of Catholic school in Kolkata denies he is joining BJP

The March 5 resignation of Father Rodney Borneo, principal of Loyola High School, Kolkata in India’s eastern state of West Bengal, created quite a sensation as rumours were rife that he was joining the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

BJP’s West Bengal state secretary Sabyasachi Dutta earlier said Father Rodney would join his party next week. The BJP is trying to woo all influential persons for the upcoming March-April state assembly polls in a bid to capture power in the state.

Dutta hailed 40-year-old Father Rodney as a person with exceptional qualities, according to The Times of India.

“We are about to induct Father Rodney on Wednesday (March 10), if all goes well. We will give him the responsibility of advising us on English medium education,” the newspaper quoted him as having said.

However, Father Rodney denied he was joining the BJP. All speculations of joining politics is unfounded, he told 

“I have been forced to resign due to some sensitive issues regarding the internal administration of the school,” he said.

He said he could not specify the reasons as he was still hoping that a dialogue would take place and things would be sorted out keeping the good of everybody in mind.

Archbishop Thomas D’Souza of Kolkatta said “he cannot resign on his own. He can only express his desire and it is up to the archbishop to accept it. And it is not being done on my part.” 

The priest has put in his resignation papers but to accept or reject it is the prerogative of the prelate who appoints the principal.

On rumours that he was joining the party, the bishop said: “I do not know anything about it. Just read it in the newspaper.”

According to sources, Father Rodney in his letter to the archbishop has complained of “unwarranted interference” by the school managing committee’s secretary.

He claimed the interests of the students were being compromised with by the secretary’s “actions and inactions”.

Father Rodney alleged that despite the raging pandemic, the school not be sanitized even once this year because of the secretary’s refusal to sanction funds.

The prestigious Loyola High School, situated in central Kolkatta’s Khidirpur city in Murshidabad district, was started as St. Paul’s Secondary School in 1961. The school was renamed Loyola High School 1984.

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