Kerala CPI(M) leader A Vijayaraghavan in trouble over sexist remarks against Congress candidate
The Congress is planning to move the Election Commission against the Left Democratic Front (LDF) convener A Vijayaraghavan over his alleged sexist remarks against the grand old party’s candidate from Alathur parliamentary constituency, Ramya Haridas.
Addressing the LDF poll convention in Ponnani in Malappuram on Monday, A Vijayaraghavan said “she had visited (PK) Kunhalikutty after her candidature was announced. I don’t know what will happen to her now.”
He was indirectly referring to the infamous ice cream parlour sex racket in the 1990s in which Indian Union Muslim League leader PK Kunhalikutty’s name had cropped up. Kunhalikutty was cleared by various courts later.
Congress has asked the CPI(M) leadership to take action against the leader who is also a former member of the Rajya Sabha.
“The CPI(M) will have to explain whether it was the attitude of the party towards women candidates. It is shameful,” said former chief minister Oommen Chandy seeking an apology from the party and LDF convener.
Besides EC, the party is also planning to file a case against the convener under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act.
The CPI(M) is yet to react to the issue. But many leaders admitted that his remarks were in bad taste and they should have been avoided at a crucial juncture ahead of the Lok Sabha election 2019.
Ramya Haridas, who belongs to the Scheduled Caste community, said she was really hurt by Vijayaraghavan’s remarks.
“People who make such loaded comments should realise that I also come from a family,” she said.
She will file a police complaint against Vijayaraghavan in the evening.
Ramya Haridas was a direct pick of Congress president Rahul Gandhi who spotted her during a talent hunt in 2013.
The 32-year-old is the daughter of a farm labourer. A good orator, she is also a singer and classical dancer. Her singing prowess was also questioned by some writers in the early days of campaigning saying “election was not a reality show”.