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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

‘Doesn’t have brains’: Kerala CPI(M) MLA’s remark on woman IAS officer

The incident, which occurred on Friday, came to light when some television channels aired visuals of Devikulam MLA S Rajendran purportedly making disparaging comments that sub collector Dr Renu Raj “lacked brains”.

india Updated: Feb 11, 2019 08:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
‘Doesn’t have brains’: Kerala CPI(M) MLA’s remark on woman IAS officer
‘Doesn’t have brains’: Kerala CPI(M) MLA’s remark on woman IAS officer(Kerala Assembly)

A ruling CPI(M) lawmaker is in the eye of storm after he allegedly rained abuses on a young woman IAS officer when she questioned an unauthorised construction at tour destination Munnar in Idukki district.

“She doesn’t have brains. If you have three letters, ‘I-A-S’, don’t think you know everything. People who study only to become a collector will have only so much brain,” he was heard saying in the video, slamming Devikulam sub-collector Dr Renu Raj.

After his outbursts turned viral, the party said it will seek an explanation from the MLA but the opposition Congress sought action against him. Interestingly, the target of his alleged slander, Renu Raj, was the second rank holder in the civil service examination in 2014. She invited his ire when she stopped the construction of a panchayat shopping complex that did not have proper permission.

She had to rush to the spot on Friday when the MLA and his followers blocked a team of revenue officials who went to serve a notice. But the MLA denied any “indecent behaviour” on his part saying he raised his voice when she behaved rudely to him. He said he will file a complaint with the Speaker.

But the young bureaucrat said she behaved properly and addressed him only as the people’s representative. Earlier she had given a stop memo to the construction as per the directive of the Kerala High Court. She said she will inform the court about the latest construction.

“He was very rude to the officer. A law-maker like him should have used his words properly,” said CPI Idukki secretary Shivaraman criticizing his behavior. “The CPI(M) recently erected a women wall to uphold women lib and renaissance values. How can the party explain such a behavior towards an upright woman officer,” asked PCC president Mullapally Ramachandran seeking action against him. When the issue snowballed into a controversy CPI(M) Idukki district secretary K Jayachandran said the party will seek an explanation from the MLA.

A misty getaway Munnar is notorious for its land sharks and often bureaucrats and politicians cross swords over them. Since the new government took over two years ago at least three young bureaucrats were shifted due to pressure. Following reports of large-scale land encroachments in 2011 Kerala High Court had made a no objection certificate from the revenue department mandatory for any construction in Munnar and surrounding areas. Fed up in 2007 V S Achuthanandan government had carried out a massive demolition drive in the hill station razing many illegal constructions to the ground.

First Published: Feb 10, 2019 21:12 IST