Kerala Left leader's comment on Rahul raises a hornet's nest; leader apologisestext_fields
Idukki: With electioneering in Kerala for the assembly polls rising to its climactic pitch, Left Democratic Front (LDF) former MP Joice George raised a storm by making certain remarks against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. The comments, alleged as derogatory, were made in the context of Rahul's visit to a women's college in Kochi last week.
George, who served as member of parliament from Idukki constituency made the objectionable comments against Rahul during an an election rally at Irattayar here on Monday.
Calling Rahul an 'unmarried trouble maker', Joice George said he would visit only women's colleges, and the girls should be "cautious" while dealing with the former Congress President.
However, the Left leadership distanced themselves from the comments and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the LDF's stand is not to personally attack Gandhi.
"We will oppose him politically not personally", Vijayan told reporters in Kasaragod on Tuesday.
The former Left independent MP's remarks came days after Gandhi had given Aikido lessons at St Teresa's college in Kochi based on the request of a student.
The Congress leader had visited the women's college for an interaction with students after he arrived in the state for election campaigning.
Joice George's statement drew instant, and aggressive, reactions from mainly Congress leadership. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala on Tuesday termed the sexually coloured remarks against Gandhi as 'unfortunate and unacceptable.'
Chennithala added that as a matter of fact it went to Rahul's credit that he was greeted so warmly by people wherever he went and it spoke for the humane manner of his interactions with the people. Chennithala demanded that a case be registered against George and he be arrested.
Youth Congress leader and MP, Dean Kuriakose joined the Congress fire against the LDF leader, "the vulgarity within him has come out now. What is his merit to criticise Rahul Gandhi? He is trying to follow the footsteps of power minister M M Mani, known for making such derogatory comments," he said.
Kuriakose said that through the comments, the former MP had not only insulted Gandhi but also the girl students.
He also said he would soon lodge a complaint with the Election Commission against George in this regard.
Criticising George, Kerala Congress leader P J Joseph said the remarks were "immature" and wanted the LDF to clarify whether it represented the front's opinion.
However, minister M M Mani, who was on the dais of the meeting where George made the comments, justified George that his comments were against women, but only against Rahul Gandhi.
When the matter became a hot topic in the feverish pre-election political atmosphere of Kerala with almost the entire top leadership of the LDF disowning the comments, Joyce George came out with an apology in his Facebook page. He said that during his speech on Monday at an election meeting he had made certain inappropriate remarks which he regretted and he was unconditionally withdrawing the same.
(With inputs from agencies)