Kerala

Jayarajan’s remark triggers row

Women wearing face-covering veil should not be allowed to vote

Communist Party of India (Marxist) district secretary M.V. Jayarajan’s reported remark that women voters wearing face-covering veil should not be allowed to cast their vote unless they show their faces in polling booths has drawn controversy, with the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and the Congress alleging that it betrays the ‘true colours’ of communists.

Mr. Jayarajan made the controversial remark at an election campaign meeting on May 17 at Pilathara here where the Election Commission ordered repoll following confirmation of bogus voting. Women voters should remove their veil while standing in queue in the booth so that their faces could be captured clearly by video camera inside the booth, he was reported to have said adding that the Election Commission should not allow voters with veil covering their faces inside the booth. If this was enforced, bogus voting could be completely checked at Puthiyangadi and Pamburuthi here where some booths had witnessed bogus voting by IUML workers.

IUML district general secretary Abdul Kareem Cheleri in a statement here on Saturday said that Mr. Jayarajan’s comment betrayed communalism hibernating in the minds of communists. The United Democratic Front had no hesitation to face the election by complying with the rules under the Representation of People Act, he said adding that the direction that voters should reach polling booths by rejecting faith and customs was not acceptable. Alleging that the CPI(M) had won elections in the district by giving fake identity cards and fielding women to cast bogus votes, he said that the CPI(M) was faking virtuousness now.

Chennithala flays stand

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala has said that the CPI(M) district secretary’s alleged statement that purdah-clad voters should not be allowed to cast vote was ill-motivated and deplorable. He said that no one had the right to intervene and question a person’s right to choose their attire. He said that Mr. Jayarajan’s statement was to cover up the embarrassment of the Left Democratic Front being completely abandoned by the minority communities. Many leaders of the CPI(M) were speaking in the voice of Sangh Parivar forces, he said calling upon CPI(M) leaders to apologise for their controversial comments.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 9:44:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/jayarajans-remark-triggers-row/article27172605.ece

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