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'Pembulai Orumae' holds fast demanding Mani’s resignation

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Pembulai Orumae holds fast demanding Mani’s resignation
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Munnar: Two activists of 'Pembulai Orumae' are observing fast in Munnar demanding unconditional apology from Power Minister M M Mani for his remarks against the women plantation workers.

'Pembulai Orumae' leaders Gomathy and Kausalya, who began the fast in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Munnar town Tuesday morning, demand that he come to them to apologise and that he must resign as he has no moral right to continue in his post.

Asked about the lukewarm response to the agitation call, Gomathy said the plantation workers were afraid of CPI-M activists who threatened them to stay away from the protest.

"We are not going to call off our protest, unless he (Mani) comes and apologises before us. He has abused us in the most heinous words saying we are 'prostitutes'. We will remain here till he comes before us and he has no moral right to continue as a minister, he must resign," she said.

Gomathy has been protesting since Sunday evening in protest along with other women workers.

Meanwhile, Mani is adamant that he would not go personally to say sorry to the protesting women. Mani told reporters that he had apologised for his statement on Sunday itself.

"There is no question of me going to Munnar and apologising before the protesting women. Let them sit there as they have been placed there by vested interests," asserted Mani, who addressing a public meeting in Idukki on Saturday, said he knew what all went on during the strike by 'Pembulai Orumae' (Women's Collective).

"It was a stage-managed protest led by vested interests. I know what all happened. When the strike was on, other activities were taking place in nearby forests," he had said.

Soon after the TV channels started airing these visuals from Sunday, there was widespread condemnation of Mani's remarks. Apart from Women's Collective leaders like Gomathy coming down heavily on Mani, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party too got into the act and have demanded that Mani should go.

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