Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], September 9 (ANI): Kerala Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala on Tuesday landed in a controversy over a remark, "whether only Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) activists could harass women."
Replying to a question at a press conference on the allegations that a junior health inspector accused of raping a woman who approached for Covid-19 negative certificate was a Congress activist, Chennithala said, "Is it written anywhere that only DYFI activists can sexually abuse a woman?"
"You are all spreading lies saying he is a member of NGO association and part of Congress but my information is that he is part of the NGO Union ( Left affiliated)," added Chennithala.
The remark of the Congress leader invited criticism from CPI(M) who sought apologies.
"Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala should apologize for making a statement insulting women. No offender who abuses women will have a place in the health department," said Health Minister KK Shailaja.
The CPI( M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said, "Ramesh Chennithala's stance is highly reprehensible and is a challenge to the womanhood as a whole."
The Leader of the Opposition should withdraw his statement publicly and apologize to the Kerala community, he said.
Meanwhile, Chennithala issued a statement in which he said he was misinterpreted and was tried to show in a poor light by extracting one sentence, from the press meet.
"To a question, I tried to say that not only DYFI activists but also NGO union members are sexually abusing women. If you examine my whole press meet, the doubts will be cleared. I just meant to say that women should not be subjected to any kind of violence. It is a common practice for CPM cyber goons and some centers to distort a few sentences from my press conference and to create misunderstanding. This is only part of it. The state is widely outraged over the brutal torture of two women COVID-19 patients. This is just a ploy to divert attention from it. I urge you not to fall for the machinations of vested interests," Chennithala said.
Recently, a junior health inspector has been charged with section 376 of IPC amounting to rape. (ANI)