Joice George, former Member of Parliament (MP) from Idukki, who had contested as an independent backed by the CPI(M), courted controversy by making derogatory and sexually-coloured remarks on Congress MP Rahul Gandhi's visit to an all-women's college in Ernakulam. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the CPI(M) condemned the former MP's remarks on Tuesday.
The Congress party in Kerala in the meantime has called for Joice's arrest for his comments against Rahul, who is the sitting MP from Wayanad.
While campaigning at Udumbanchola for the Left Democratic Front (LDF) sitting MLA and Minister MM Mani, Joice said that students should be careful while Rahul Gandhi teaches them physical exercises. “Rahul Gandhi will go to only all-girl's colleges. Once he reaches there, he will teach girls to bend and twist. My dear children, please don’t bend and stand in front of him. He is not married," he said.
The comment was in reference to a visit by Rahul Gandhi to St Teresa’s College on March 22 where he demonstrated Aikido, a Japanese martial art on a few students based on their request.
The Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala of the Congress demanded Joice's arrest for his "distasteful comments". Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy also condemned the remarks stating that such comments should not be made in a state like Kerala where women are known to hold a high social position.
Chief Minister Pinayaryi Vijayan on Tuesday condemned the comments and stated that Rahul Gandhi should not be attacked personally.
Following this, Joice tendered an apology during an election rally at Kumily on Monday, reported The Week. "The comments were in bad taste. I tender an unconditional apology in case it has hurt the sentiments of anyone. I hereby withdraw the remarks," said the former MP.
MM Mani, for whom Joice was campaigning, however, stated that the former MP was only criticising Rahul Gandhi and had not made any anti-women remarks, reported Asianet News.
The CPI(M ) in the meantime released an official press statement condemning the remarks made by Joice. “The CPI(M) does not agree with the comments made against Rahul Gandhi by the former Idukki MP. The CPI(M) is against the political stands of Rahul Gandhi and the Congress. These personal attacks will only divert attention from the condemnation of their politics. Such kind of comments should not be made,” read their statement.