‘Slip of tongue’: CPM backs Kerala minister amid row over remark on Constitution

Cheriyan, a minister in the Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet, said that even though the Constitution mentions words like ‘democracy’ and ‘secularism,’ they can be easily used to suit one’s agenda.

Saji Cheriyan. (IE File Photo)

Kerala’s Minister for Fisheries and Culture Saji Cheriyan’s address at a CPI(M) programme at Mallapally has stoked a huge controversy after he said that India has a Constitution, which the British had prepared, to “loot the country and plunder the citizens”. Soon after his remarks, several leaders from the Opposition including BJP’s KJ Alphons demanded the state minister’s resignation, stating that such “unconstitutional remarks” were unbecoming of an elected representative. CPI(M) rejected Opposition leaders’ repeated calls for Cheriyan’s resignation, while calling it a ‘slip of tongue.’ Meanwhile, the minister has issued an apology, and said that his remarks were misconstrued.

Cheriyan, a minister in the Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet, said that even though the Constitution mentions words like ‘democracy’ and ‘secularism,’ they can be easily used to suit one’s agenda.

“We all say that we have a beautifully written Constitution. But, I will say, the Constitution is written in such a way that it can be used to plunder the people of the country….Indian Constitution can exploit people. British prepared it, Indians wrote it and implemented it. It’s been 75 years. India wrote a beautiful Constitution that can be used to loot,” Cheriyan said.

“The Indian Constitution is not fair to the labour class as there is no protection for them and instead of that some ‘stupid’ (used popular colloquial words like ‘kunthem’ and ‘kudachakrem’) things like secularism and democracy are written in it…in that constitution there are few places that have references to secularism, democracy but it can be exploited,” Cheriyan further added.

Alphons said that CM Vijayan should expel the minister or the Office of Governor should take an immediate note and recommend Vijaya’s sacking to the CM for making fun of the Constitution

Going a step further, Kerala Assembly’s Leader of Opposition Congress’ V D Satheesan said that the party will approach courts if the CM fails to act.

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