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Minister Saji Cheriyan resigns after remarks about Constitution

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Minister Saji Cheriyan resigns after remarks about Constitution
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Saji Cherian (file photo)

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Minister Saji Cheriyan said he has decided to resign after his comments about the Indian Constitution sparked a controversy.

After he said the Constitution in the country is helping the exploitation of the working class, there were calls for his resignation from the Opposition.

The senior Communist Party leader met the media at the Chief Minister's Office on Wednesday and said that he has handed over his resignation to CM Pinarayi Vijayan. He added that it was his "independent decision" to quit as minister.

Cheriyan will be the first to resign from the second Left Democratic Front (LDF) government headed by Pinarayi Vijayan.

He stated that he never intended to disrespect the Constitution and he has "the highest regard and respect" for it. He alleged that his speech was misconstrued to destabilise the state government. "I was hurt by such a portrayal of what I had said. I also believe it was aimed at destabilising the ruling Left government." He further alleged that Congress and the BJP have failed many times to uphold the Constitution.

Earlier today, Cheriyan did not seem in favour of stepping down from his position. Responding to questions from the media, he said: "Why? What is the problem? I already said what I had to say yesterday."

CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury told reporters in New Delhi that the state leadership is discussing the matter and an "appropriate action" will be taken.

Senior Congress MLA and former state minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan responded to the allegation and said "it was his speech that led to resignation". He observed that Cherian did not express regret for his words.

Kerala Congress chief K Sudhakaran said it is good that Cheriyan exited without much protest. "Our constitution is special as this is the only one which calls for unity in diversity. If this constitution is weakened, then our country will be lost".

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