The FB post of Lini’s husband criticised Congress leader Mullappally Ramachandran after the latter had referred to Health Minister KK Shailaja as ‘COVID Queen’.

Nurse Linis husband criticises Mullappally Congress workers protest against him
news Controversy Saturday, June 20, 2020 - 17:34

Congress workers in Kerala held a protest march against deceased Nipah nurse Lini’s husband Sajeesh on Friday morning after he wrote a Facebook post criticising senior Congress leader Mullappally Ramachandran. Several Congress workers marched towards the hospital in Vadakara, Kozhikode, where he works. Lini Puthussery was hailed as a hero after she died treating a Nipah patient during the outbreak in Kerala in 2018.

Sajeesh’s post criticising the Congress leader was written in the backdrop of the latest controversy surrounding Mullappally, who had referred to Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja as a ‘Nipah Princess’ and a ‘COVID queen’. Mullappally had said that the Health Minister “is trying to get the label of Covid Rani, had earlier been in a competition to get the name of Nipah Rajakumari.”

The senior leader drew a lot of flak for his seemingly mocking and misogynistic statement.

Sajeesh’s Facebook post

In his Facebook post written on Thursday, Sajeesh wrote that Mullappally was not among the people who came and consoled him when Lini passed away. 

“Among those who came to me and consoled me, forgetting party politics and the differences between opposition and ruling party, Vadakara parliamentary constituency representative Mullappally Ramachandran was not there,” Sajeesh wrote, adding that Mullappally did not even make a phone call to console the family on Lini’s death. 

He also credited several panchayat leaders of Perambra block panchayat in Kozhikode and Chattikapara as well as Labour and Excise Minister TP Ramakrishnan for supporting him during tough times. 

Sajeesh added that the Health Minister’s words promising to support him and his kids were not empty promises. “Shylaja Teacher’s words that she was with us were not empty. To console us during grief and to be a part of our family like a family member, Shylaja Teacher was there. Following this, whenever she got an opportunity, she would get in touch with me and my family over the phone. Even on May 21, which is Lini’s death anniversary, Shylaja Teacher had called us without forgetting,” he wrote. 

“In this way Shylaja Teacher painted a picture of her love for living beings. She supported family members of people who collapsed during a crisis, and the people who survived a crisis. In the background of this controversy, I remember the experiences of some of those days and I will never forget,” Sajeesh added.

However, Congress leader and Perambra block panchayat member Jithesh Muthukad has claimed that Mullappally did call Sajeesh when Lini died, from Jithesh’s phone. He wrote in a Facebook post that Mullappally had spoken to Sajeesh but perhaps the latter did not remember due to his state of mind at the time of his wife’s death, Jithesh said. He also defended Mullappally's statement on KK Shailaja, saying that the senior leader was just pointing out those people who are trying to take the credit.

My words were twisted: Mullappally 

After several senior leaders including CPI(M) Politburo member Brinda Karat condemned Mullappally for his sexist comments, the Congress leader told media that his words had been twisted, and that he had not insulted KK Shylaja. 

He added that he would not be apologising for his statement. 

Defending ‘COVID Rani’, the term he used to refer to the Health Minister, Mullappally said, “Newspapers like the London Guardian have referred to the health minister as a ‘rock star’ in their headlines.”

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