Kerala Minister calls IAS officer 'mad', abuses workers
26 April, 2017, 08:45 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
Chennai: Kerala electricity minister MM Mani seems to have added to the woes of Pinarayi Vijayan government, which is already facing criticism from various fronts, by his unsavoury remarks against Idukki-based Pombilai Orumai, an all-women collective which took on Kannan Devan Hills Plantations Limited in 2015.
Protests had erupted in various parts of Kerala, demanding the minister's resignation over his alleged remarks against "Pembila Orumai" activists and IAS officers involved in the eviction drive from encroached lands in Munnar in Idukki. The BJP's Kerala unit observed a black day in Idukki district and demanded Mani's resignation.
"Mani has said that he will quit only if his party - CPI-M - asks him to do so".
Significantly, the chief minister had earlier denounced Mani's remarks. I kindly request them to telecast it so that everyone can know the truth. He alleged that only six women were protesting against him and among that was Sobha Surendran (BJP leader) and Bindu Krishna (Congress leader). Kerala Industries Minister Jayarajan had resigned in October previous year over charges of nepotism while state Transport Minister AK Saseendran quit his post late last month after an audio clip of him purportedly asking for sexual favours from a woman was played on a newly launched TV channel.
The opposition leader also asked why Mr. Mani bothered to express regrets over his remarks the other day if he had said nothing untoward.
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Mani on Saturday night had reportedly used abusive words about women plantation workers and since then the Women's Collective, whom he allegedly abused, has been on a protest demanding an apology.
Addressing reporters after the meeting, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said that they will not call off their protest till Mani quits.
State CPI-Marxist Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan refused to comment. "He spoke in a very local lingo that was misinterpreted", said the chief minister. "He (Venkitaraman) is a mad man and should be sent to Oolampara (mental hospital in Thiruvananthapuram)", said Mani, who has waded into controversies with his uttrances in the past as well.
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