UDF candidate Ramya Haridas accuses LDF convenor of insulting her

Ramya Haridas. File   | Photo Credit: K.K. MUSTAFAH

Ramya Haridas, the United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate from Alathur Lok Sabha constituency in Kerala, has accused Left Democratic Front (LDF) convenor A. Vijayaraghavan of disparaging her in a manner that outraged her modesty as a woman.

Mr. Vijayaraghavan has found himself at the centre of a political controversy after he remarked that the "woman candidate from Alathur" had called on Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leaders.

He said the candidate had called on the IUML supremo Panakkad Syed Hyderali Shihab and later secretary general and MP, P. K. Kunhalikutty. "I do not know what will happen to her now", he said at an LDF election rally in Ponnani in Malappuram district on Monday evening.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan arrived at the venue soon after the speech ended.

Ms. Haridas said she had sought the video recording of the speech. She said she would move the police against the LDF convenor on the charge of outraging her modesty and belittling her as a woman hailing from the scheduled caste/scheduled tribe community.

Ms. Haridas said she had come up the hard way in politics. "I come from a very ordinary family. I have parents and siblings. They are hurt. I had struggled hard as a woman to get to where I am now,” she said.

She said Mr. Vijayaraghavan's comment exposed the hollowness of the LDF's campaign platform, that it stood for the empowerment of women and protection of progressive values.

Ms. Haridas said she felt impelled to fight for justice for the sake of other women, including Dalit women, who might be deterred from striking out in life by fearing such attempts at character assassination.

Chandy, Ramachandran condemn remarks

All India Congress Committee member and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy slammed Mr. Vijayaraghavan for his remarks, which he said was an affront to women in Kerala and outside. Mr. Chandy sought a public apology from the LDF.

He said the Congress would make the attitude of the LDF a talking point in the elections. Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Mullappally Ramachandran also condemned the LDF convenor. He said Mr. Vijayaraghavan's remark reflected the mindset of some Communist leaders and demanded an unconditional public apology.

Mr. Vijayaraghavan, however, has downplayed the comment and said it was misinterpreted. He said the people would see through the UDF's tactic to whip up a storm on a non-issue.

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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 8:51:31 AM |

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