An Aam Aadmi Party office in Kochi was ransacked, allegedly by Youth Congress activists, on Monday over “sexist remarks” by poet-turned-politician Kumar Vishwas against Malayalee nurses nearly six years ago.
Videos of the remarks, during which Vishwas — now a frontline AAP leader who wants to take on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi — apparently makes a reference to dark skin, have been uploaded on social networking sites.
HT could not independently verify the authenticity of the videos, but sources in the Congress said it was from a speech Vishwas had made in Jharkhand capital Ranchi in 2008.
“Earlier, when a person fell sick and went to hospital... there would be nurses "kali peeli si" (reference to dark complexion) from Kerala for whom the word sister would automatically emerge,” Vishwas is heard saying.
Reacting sharply to the remarks, Bindu Krishna, vice-president of Mahila Congress, demanded that a criminal case be registered against the AAP leader for making “sexist comments” against Malayalee nurses.
She said Malayalee nurses were well known for rendering exemplary services in hospitals within and outside the country. She also asked the AAP leadership to spell out its stand on the remarks of Vishwas.
Joining the chorus of protesters, eminent Malayalee writer Sara Joseph, who joined the AAP last week, said, “Remarks of Vishwas are totally deplorable. I strongly protest. I expect that the AAP leadership will come out with a clarification on the issue.”
The CPI(M) also sought action against Vishwas. “It is in bad taste. He should have been booked by now,” party MP TN Seema said.
The police said Youth Congress workers took out a march to the AAP office on MG road in Kochi and threw stones and ransacked the office. They reportedly threw eggs, broke some chairs and windowpanes.
(With inputs from Agencies)