Cong MP Sudhakaran's remark against Kerala CM; Cong disciplinary panel to look into matter

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Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 4 (PTI) Senior Congress leader K Sudhakaran'sunsavoury remark against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has snowballed into a major row, with the Congress' disciplinarycommittee on Thursday deciding to look into the matterbut the MP remained defiant and justified it.

Sudhakaran had made the remark against Vijayan on Wednesday, harping on his family background and being the first CM of Kerala 'to buy a helicopter for travelling.' Senior Congress leader Tariq Anwar, who reacted to the incident, said 'the disciplinary committeewill look into it and will see that in future nobodywill go beyondthe party discipline.' Sudhakaran had made the remarks at the venue of 'Aishwarya Yathra,' led by Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala at Thalassery in Kannur district.

The Congress-led UDF had launched the 22 day state-wide rally from Kambala on January 31 to highlight the 'misrule' of the ruling LDF.

The KannnurMP, who reached Delhi for party meetings onThursday, refused to withdraw his statement and said he stood by what he had said and there was nothingwrong in it.

He also lashed out at Alappuzha MLA and Congress leader Shanimol Usman for asking him to apologise for his remarks and asked why was a Congress leader upset.

'I stand by what I said.I made that statement after evaluating the right and wrong in that remark.There is no need to change that.Then why is Shanimol Usman upset by the issue? Even the CPI(M) has not reacted to the issue.' 'Why is the Congress leader upset about it? I have complained to the KPCC leadership about Usman's reaction,' Sudhakaran told reports.

He said he had not abused anyone.

'I mentioned the family background and the profession of the family.I merely mentioned the lavish spending and use of helicopters by a person from such a humble background.There is nothing wrong in it,' Sudhakaran said.

Chennithala, however, said that 'such comments shouldhave been avoided'.

...Pinarayi Vijayan, who held the revolutionary flame of the working class from a family of toddy-tappers and led you from the front holding the red flag, where is he now? ' 'Pinarayi Vijayan, who hails from the family of toddy-tappers, travels by helicopter after he became the chief minister of Kerala and will be remembered as the first chief minister from the working class to use a helicopter,' Sudhakaran had said.

CPI(M) party secretary in-charge A Vijayaraghavan asked the Congress party to come clear on the remarks.

'In a modern society, we don't use these kinds of words.Sudhakaran used an abusive tone in his speechagainstthe chief minister. Congressshould make its stand clear.Sudhakaran is unaware of the renaissance journey of Kerala. So the Kerala leaders should make their stand clear,' Vijayaraghavan said.

DYFI, the youth organisation of the ruling CPI(M), also lashed out at the MP and said no one uses such 'casteist and derogatory' remarksagainst anyone.

The DYFI said the Congress party was being led by the 'Sangh Parivar ideology.' 'The Congress leader made a derogatory remark against the chief minister.No one in society uses such casteistremarks.Does Congress have a stand that the son of a toddy-tapper should not become the chief minister? Each job has its dignity,' the DYFI said.

'To understand that one needs to read beyond Manusmriti and learn human values.These days Congress party is being led by Sangh Parivar ideology which follows Manusmriti,' DYFI leaders said at a press meet.

The Chief Minister had to face similar remarks when the Left government decided to implement the September 28,2018 Supreme Court verdict, allowing entry of women of all age groups into the Sabarimala temple.

Earlier in 2019, BJP state vice-president M Sivarajan had said it would have been better if Vijayan 'had gone back to toddy-tapping' instead of being the CM.

During the initial protests against the state's decision to implement the top court order, a local woman in her 50s allegedly used a derogatory term to denote Vijayan's caste, a video of which went viral.

She later shot a video apologising to the Chief Minister.

Prior to that, 'Janmabhoomi', a BJP mouthpiece, had also carried a cartoon, referring to his caste of traditional toddy tappers and implying he was unfit for the job.

However, Vijayan had brushed aside these remarks, saying the saffron party always reminded him of his caste and expected him to follow his family's footsteps, but that times had changed, a new era had come about and they would have to understand it. PTI RRT BN ADMINISTRATOR BN ADMINISTRATOR