While Kerala PCC president Mullappally Ramachandran’s ‘COVID Queen’ and ‘NIPAH Princess’ remarks against Kerala’s Health Minister K K Shailaja have stirred a major controversy, especially by the left-front, Kerala’s politics have witnessed even more derogatory remarks including those by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over the years.
‘Paranari’ (scoundrel) and ‘Nikrishtajeevi’ (wretched creature) were some of the most demeaning remarks by Vijayan. The scoundrel remark was targeted at RSP leader and Lok Sabha MP N K Premachandran during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in the Kollam constituency and was considered to the reason for the CPM’s failure in the polls. The wretched creature remark was against a bishop of North Kerala who criticised the left-front’s policies in 2007.
A senior CPM leader in Kerala, M V Jayarajan, was even sentenced for six months for his unparliamentary remarks against High Court judges for banning public meetings in 2010.
The 2019 Lok Sabha election campaign witnessed CPM leaders making sexist remarks against women opponents in the Congress. Left Democratic Front convener and former CPM MP A Vijayaraghavan’s uncouth remarks against Congress candidate Ramya Haridas wondering out loud what might have happened to her after she visited IUML leader and former minister P K Kunhalikutty, who earlier faced sexual allegations, were heavily criticised. CPM leader and Public Work’s minister G Sudhakarantriggered a row for allegedly calling Congress candidate Shanimol Osman a ‘Puthana’ or demoness.
The Congress faces embarrassment for the second time now for flaying the health minister who has received international attention for driving the state’s fight against COVID-19 and NIPAH virus efficiently. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala’s remark that the health minister was a media maniac for her regular media briefings also caused resentment.
Congress leaders in Kerala have made adverse personal remarks on many occasions. Congress MP K Muraleedharan has even made adverse personal remarks against party president Sonia Gandhi.
Meanwhile, former Kerala Chief Minister and AICC general secretary Oommen Chandy on Sunday backed the PCC president. Chandy also asked whether the Pinarayi Vijayan had the moral right to flay Ramachandran for making such remarks against the health minister. Attempts to weaken the Congress’s protests against the government by attacking the PCC president won’t be allowed, said Chandy.