Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Mullapally Ramachandran triggered a controversy on 1 November when he made “anti-women comments” while criticising the Left Democratic Front (LDF). After uproar, the Indian National Congress (INC) leader soon offered an apology.
“A woman with self-respect will die if she is raped or else try not to be sexually assaulted again. But every day she is telling she is raped by someone,” he said while launching the opposition United Democratic Front’s protest, seeking the resignation of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Mullapally made the offensive remarks while he was slamming the LDF for bringing up the solar scam case during the Congress regime to counter the criticism against it in the gold smuggling and drug cases.
“The LDF has brought a sex worker as a desperate attempt to tell her tales. The CM’s blackmailing won’t work this time. One can understand when a woman is raped once but she says she is assaulted repeatedly. Nobody will believe her studded lies,” he said, without naming the woman in the solar scam case.
The reference, however, was to the solar scam accused Saritha Nair. Just two days back, she is reported to have made a statement against former minister AP Anil Kumar.
The solar scam relates to alleged fraud by Saritha and her second husband with the help of a few staff members of the then chief minister Oommen Chandy’s office. They promised unsuspecting customers imported solar panels. Once the scam surfaced, Chandy had to sack three of his aides and Kerala’s public relations director.
After her arrest, she had raised sexual assault charges against many INC leaders.
Ramachandran apologised at the same venue after loud protests erupted, and the ruling CPI(M) and women organisations came out against the INC leader.
State Women Commission president MC Josephine said his words were in bad taste and the commission will take action against him.
INC leader Shanimol Usman and others expressed displeasure over his remarks.
This is not the first time he has landed in such a controversy.
Earlier, he landed in another row after his ‘Covid Rani’ and ‘Nipah Rajkumari’ remarks against state health minister KK Shailaja.
But he later said he used these epithets with good intention to expose the state’s failure on COVID-19 battlefront.
“It shows his mindset. This is not the first time he is speaking against women. We would like to know the INC president’s view about this,” said KK Shailaja.