Kerala

Pinarayi Vijayan censures KPCC chief Mullappally Ramachandran

He says Cong. leader’s words brought infamy to party

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Mullappally Ramachandran drew severe disapproval from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday for his allegedly gender insensitive and derogatory allusion to Health Minister K.K. Shylaja as “Nipah Princess” and “COVID Queen”.

Mr. Vijayan leaned heavily on an editorial published by a Malayalam daily widely reckoned to be pro-Congress and against the ruling front to excoriate Mr. Ramachandran for his comments on Saturday.

He said the attempt on the part of the Congress to launch a witch-hunt against Ms. Shylaja for being a woman and a competent Health Minister had compelled him to veer away from the principled position that he would not use the customary COVID-19 news briefings to hold forth on political opinions.

Quoting from the editorial, Mr. Vijayan said Mr. Ramachandran’s words had brought infamy to his party and also the State. The comments had demoralised frontline health workers, who risked their lives daily to keep the epidemic at bay.

Also read: Mullappally says misogyny hallmark of CPI(M) politics

Mr. Ramachandran’s remarks were patently anti-women and condemnable.

The newspaper said Mr. Ramachandran’s words defied conventionally accepted standards of behaviour and political propriety. Respect for the Opposition underscored the right to dissent democratically, the newspaper reminded.

“He is everything a responsible politician should not be,” Mr. Vijayan said.

The Chief Minister condemned the Congress for having orchestrated a protest against Linish, the husband of sister Lini who had fallen victim to Nipah virus while saving the lives of those afflicted by the disease in Kozhikode in 2018.

Mr. Linish had earned the ire of local Congress workers for having commented on Facebook that Mr. Ramachandran, who was the then local MP, was absent when the pandemic convulsed his constituency. He had praised Ms. Shylaja for her support. Mr. Vijayan said Kerala stood behind sister Lini’s family.

Mr. Vijayan condemned the Congress national leadership for not disowning Mr. Ramachandran’s hurtful statements and actions.

The Congress had tried to derail Kerala’s highly successful containment strategy by attempting to besmirch those at the helm of the Health Department. It should stop playing politics with the lives of people.

The government had not taken any credit for the hitherto favourable outcome in the battle against COVID-19. “The credit belonged to the people,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 1:39:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/pinarayi-vijayan-censures-kpcc-chief-mullappally-ramachandran/article31879200.ece

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