Kerala Power Minister M M Mani, who is facing the flak for his disparaging remarks on women plantation workers, on Sunday said the Congress has a bad track record of misbehaving with women not just in Kerala, but across India. Mani since last Sunday has come under attack from all quarters for his curt remarks on women plantation worker. Even when his Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) publicly censured him for his loose tongue, Mani attacked the Congress for what he is facing now.
“You just look back, so many Congressmen not just here but across the country, have misbehaved with women and it includes cases like the ‘Solar scam’ here… the Congress leaders who faced allegations in it were given promotions,” said Mani. “The case against Sashi Tharoor, it’s still on and people do not know what happened in it. I was taken to task because of the media who twisted my statements against the women workers.”
It has been a week since the women plantation workers here are up in arms against Mani, demanding that he apologise to them and resign from his past. Meanwhile, the police on Saturday forcibly removed two women workers who have been on an indefinite fast, following which the Women’s Collective decided to call off their hunger strike.
They decided to launch a relay fast from Sunday and said they would not budge unless their demands were met. Mani ruled out any meeting with the protesting women workers. “It’s the Congress, BJP, AAP and the media who were instrumental in bringing these women workers to the protest front. I will not go there. I did no wrong,” added Mani.
With the Congress party in no mood to relent, state party chief M.M. Hassan said they would go forward with their demand for Mani’s resignation. Many in the state are baffled as to why Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is defending the minister.
“CPI-M is a party where we saw their leaders being booted out of the party for misbehaving with women, and he blames us,” said Hassan. Following a petition in the Kerala High Court seeking action against Mani, the court came down heavily on Mani and asked the Idukki district police chief to hand over to it the audio and video clip of the minister’s speech.