Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday defended the alleged remarks against women made by Power Minister MM Mani and accused the media of “distorting” and “magnifying” the comments, PTI reported. “Some of Mani’s statement were misinterpreted by the media,” Pinarayi said in the Kerala Assembly on Tuesday. “Some are trying to blow up the issue for political mileage.”
The chief minister said Mani had used colloquial language which was later distorted by the media. “The slang common in his place has influenced his language,” he added. In the Assembly, Mani said his speech was edited and telecast in such a way by the media, that it looked like he was speaking against women. “Some media is against me, because in the speech I mentioned about their relationship with bureaucrats,” Mani said.
Congress-led UDF on Tuesday disrupted Assembly proceedings and demanded Mani’s resignation. The Opposition entered the well of the House shouting slogans following which the House was adjourned for the day.
Mani, a CPI(M) leader from Idukki, had stirred a controversy on Saturday after he alleged that “immoral activities” took place at the Pembilai Orumai’s protest venue. He had also allegedly insulted IAS officers for demolishing a cross in Munnar as part of an anti-encroachment drive, Manorama reported. Protests had erupted in various parts of Kerala with Pembilai Orumai activist launching a hunger strike in Munnar seeking the minister’s resignation.
On Sunday, Pinarayi had condemned Mani’s remarks after the latter had regretted the incident. “Pembilai Orumai in Munnar was a collective movement of women,” the chief minister had said. “It’s not proper to make derogatory remarks against it.”
Pembilai Orumai is a women’s organisation of tea plantation workers that has been fighting for better wages since 2015.