Kerala working president Kodikkunnil Suresh said CM Pinarayi Vijayan had earned a name for being progressive after allowing the entry of women into the Sabarimala Temple.
Congress’ Kerala working president Kodikkunnil Suresh Saturday courted controversy by saying that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan should have married off his daughter to a Scheduled Caste person if he were a truly progressive leader.
Suresh, an MP and prominent Dalit leader, was speaking at a dharna against the alleged misappropriation of SC/ST welfare funds involving CPI(M) leaders.
Suresh said Vijayan had earned a name for being progressive after allowing the entry of women into the Sabarimala Temple. “If Vijayan were a true renaissance leader, he would have married off his daughter to a Scheduled Caste person. CPI(M) has several good young men from Scheduled Caste,” he said.
The Congress leader accused Vijayan of neglecting the Dalit community. “The neglect was evident in the formation of the ministry and appointments. Making a Dalit as devaswom (temple affairs) minister was celebrated. At the same time, Vijayan had appointed his conscience keeper to rein in that Dalit minister,” he said, referring to the appointment of K Radhakrishnan as temple affairs minister. Later, former MP A Sampath was made his private secretary.
Even after his comments drew flak from political leaders, Suresh stuck to them, saying he had made an accidental reference to a topic which had been debated by society at large.
A A Rahim, state secretary of DYFI, the youth wing of ruling CPI(M), said the Congress leader’s comments were anti-women and against the perspective of a modern society. “His statements are regressive. Any adult has the freedom to pick up his or her life partner. It shows Congress is being led by persons who are yet to embrace a perspective of modern society,’’ he said.
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