As campaigning for the assembly polls reached a feverish pitch in Kerala, former MP Joyce George courted controversy by making alleged derogatory remarks against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in connection with the latter’s interaction with students of a women’s college in Kochi last week. George, who had won as the CPI(M) supported independent during the 2014 Parliament election from Idukki, made highly objectionable comments against the Nehru scion while addressing an election rally at Irattayar on Monday.
Distancing himself from the comments, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the LDF’s stand is not to personally attack Gandhi.
“We will oppose him politically not personally”, Vijayan told reporters in Kasaragod on Tuesday. Attacking the opposition Congress-led UDF and Rahul
Gandhi in particular, George said Gandhi would visit only women’s colleges and the girls should be “cautious” while dealing with the former Congress President.
“Girls never bend down in front of him.. he is an unmarried trouble maker,” he alleged.
The former Left independent MP’s remarks came days after Gandhi had given Aikido lessons at the famed St Teresa’s College in Kochi based on the request of a student.
The Congress leader had visited the women’s college for interaction with students after he arrived at the state for election campaigning.
Joyce George’s statement drew intense criticism from the Congress fold.
Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala on Tuesday termed the sexually coloured remarks against Gandhi as ‘unfortunate and unacceptable.’
A case should be registered against the former MP and he should be arrested, he said.
Member of Parliament and Youth Congress leader Dean Kuriakose lashed out at the ex-MP and said George might have spoken about his own character.
“The vulgarity within him has come out now. What is his merit to criticise Rahul Gandhi? He is trying to follow the footsteps of power minister MM Mani, known for making such derogatory comments,” he said.
Kuriakose said through the comments, the former MP had not only insulted Gandhi but also the girl students.
He also said he would soon lodge a complaint with the Election Commission against George in this regard.
Criticising George, Kerala Congress leader PJ Joseph said the remarks were “immature” and wanted to know whether it was the opinion of the entire LDF.
However, minister MM Mani justified George and said he had not made any anti-women remarks and only criticised Rahul Gandhi.