Congress candidate from Kerala's Alathur constituency Ramya Haridas on Tuesday filed a police complaint against Left Democratic Front (LDF) convenor A Vijayaraghavan for making "sexist" and "lewd" remarks against her.
While addressing an LDF rally in Ponnani near Palakkad on Monday, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Vijayaraghavan said the "woman candidate from Alathur" had called on Indian Union Muslim League leaders, including Panakkad Sayyid Hyderali Shihab Thangal and PK Kunhalikutty, soon after filing her nomination. "I do not know what will happen to her now," he added.
This statement created a controversy as his comment appeared to be an indirect reference to a sexual assault case in which Kunhalikuty was an accused of over a decade before it was absolved by the Supreme Court.
"He (Vijayaraghavan) should remember that I too have a father and a mother. Those who are raising renaissance slogans should not behave with women in this manner. This is not an accidental statement, but a planned one. No other woman should not face such a situation in future. Hence, I have moved a complaint with the police," The Indian Express quoted Haridas as saying.
"I didn't expect such a remark by a representative of the Left, which constantly talks about the security for women. There are still many Scheduled Caste women like me who have yet to come into the mainstream. I hope they don't have to go through such problems," Haridas said, according to The News Minute.
Congress leaders, including Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, Kerala Congress president Mullapally Ramachandran and All India Congress Committee general secretary Oommen Chandy, have demanded strict action against Vijayaraghavan.
Vijayaraghavan — a former member of both houses of Parliament — said he had not intended to hurt anyone with his comments. "I had no intention to insult Haridas or Kunhalikutty. My statements were misconstrued in a manner to create misunderstanding. I want more women to come to the public sphere," he said.
However, PK Biju, the CPM candidate from Alathur who has won the seat twice, claimed that the Congress was raking up "baseless issues" as it is aware that the party is on a back foot in this constituency.
Your guide to the latest election news, analysis, commentary, live updates and schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on firstpost.com/elections. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates from all 543 constituencies for the upcoming general elections.
Updated Date: Apr 03, 2019 09:39:18 IST