The controversy over an alleged derogatory remark made by former Kerala minister MM Mani against RMP lawmaker KK Rema took a new turn on Saturday as it led to a confrontation between the veteran CPM and CPI leader Annie Raja .
Mani, the MP for Udumbanchola, attacked Raja with strong words, drawing criticism from her and her party colleagues.
Asked about Raja’s criticism of Mani for the insensitive remarks he made against Rema at the Kerala assembly, Mani said the CPI leader should only mind his business in Delhi.
“Raja’s field of work is in Delhi and not in Kerala assembly. She should mind her business there, not here. How would she know about the problems we are facing in Kerala assembly . I don’t care what she says. I stand by what I said. I would have said it in a better way if I had had enough time,” Mani told reporters. While making his statement, he used derogatory slang which provoked the senior CPI leader and her party.
Calling Mani’s remarks highly misogynistic and condemnable, Raja said the political party (Democratic Left Front) to which Mani belongs should consider whether his remarks were appropriate or not.
“I have been engaged in leftist and feminist political activism in Delhi for years. I will not bow to any threat. Even Narendra Modi or Amit Shah could not threaten me,” Raja retorted to Mani.
Raja had criticized Mani for his remark that “Rema’s widowhood was her destiny”. Rema is the wife of TP Chandrasekharan who was brutally murdered by political opponents. A CPM rebel, Chandrasekharan was hacked to death in May 2012 after floating a parallel left-wing group called the Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) in his home territory of Onchiayam in north Kerala. Local CPM leaders and hired morons were convicted in this case.
The opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front demanded an apology from Mani for his insensitive remark even as he remained defiant in the face of heavy protests.
Raja criticized Mani saying that a communist should not have made such a remark. His party, the CPI, is the second biggest ally of the ruling party, the LDF, led by the CPM.
ICC slams Mani
CPI Idukki District Secretary KK Sivaraman hit back at Mani on Saturday saying that Mani’s language was obscene and CPM should address it. In a tit-for-tat remark, Sivaraman also used the same slang word Mani used to ask “where (CPM politburo member) Brinda Karat does her business.”
Kerala Mahila Sangham and the CPI’s youth wing, the All India Youth Federation (AIYF), also registered their protest against Mani’s remarks on Raja.