Senior Congress leader K. Muraleedharan, MP of Vatakara Lok Sabha constituency in Kerala, was booked on Tuesday for his misogynist comments against the mayor of the mayor Thiruvananthapuram Corporation.
Muraleedharan made these sexist remarks against Arya Rajendran of CPI (M) while addressing the Congress workers during a protest organized by the party, seeking action against corporation officials allegedly involved in a revenue scam.
Arya Rajendran, who was elected from Mudavanmukal ward, belonging to Nemom Assembly Constituency from Communist Party of India (Marxist) at the age of 21, made history when she was appointed as the mayor of the Corporation, she became the youngest mayor in the country.
Speaking to the Congress workers during the protest, MP said that the mayor was looking beautiful, but what came out of her mouth was more terrible and will put the ‘Kodungallur Bharani songs’ to shame.
Muraleedharan referred to the folk songs mixed with abusive words sung at the famous Devi temple in Kodungallur of Thrissur district during the widely popular Meena Bharani festival there. As part of a ritual, devotees come in large numbers and sing the Kodungallur Bharani songs.
What are the sections filled against K. Muraleedharan?
Following the complainant filed by Arya Rajendran of CPI (M), police on Tuesday confirmed that they had registered a case against the senior Congress leader under IPC sections 354 A (Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment) and 509 (Word, gesture, or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) based on the mayor alleging that he had insulted her womanhood by making derogatory remarks against her during the protest held in front of the Corporation’s office in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.
How did Muraleedharan React to the complaint?
Muraleedharan expressed his regret for his remarks, stating that it was not meant to hurt anyone. He refused to retract his statement and slammed the mayor for the alleged corruption in the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation.
He said that he regrets that his remarks have caused mental distress to anyone personally and insisted that he has no problem saying that. “I do not want any of my statements to hurt anyone personally,” the Vatakara MP said in a Facebook post.
Muraleedharan, however, said he doesn’t see anything vulgar in saying that someone is beautiful.
He alleged that the Corporation was witnessing unprecedented corruption in the LDF rule, and the mayor could not shirk from her responsibilities.
He further added that the LDF’s mayor is not mature enough in her role as the mayor of the Corporation, to which Arya Rajendran retaliated by stating that she has not appointed anyone to measure her maturity.
K. Muraleedharan is the son of eminent Congress leader K. Karunakaran, one of the most influential leaders in Kerala’s Congress Party. Muraleedharan currently serves as the MP of Vatakara.
He suffered a massive defeat in the general assembly elections held earlier this year at the Nemom constituency against CPI (M) ‘s strong man V. Sivankutty, the state education minister. Arya Rajendran also hails from the same constituency.
What were the reactions to the MP’s remarks?
CPI (M) and its youth system DYFI have heavily criticized Muraleedharan’s remarks against 22-year-old Rajendran.
In his lengthy Facebook post, DYFI’s state president, A.A. Rahim, pointed out the struggles and hardships faced by Arya and praised her sheer determination and caliber that are crucial to her rise within the party and contributed to her post as the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation’s mayor.
He criticized Muraleedharan for stooping too low and pointed out that she (Arya) did not have all the luxuries that Muraleedharan had, being the son of the Congress veteran. He strongly opposed the viewpoints of the MP that are sexist and racist.