A Communist Party of India (CPI) leader in Kerala has landed in soup for his casteist remark about a fellow Communist leader.
Pathanamthitta CPI general secretary Manoj Charalel will now face an internal enquiry by the party, after an audio-clip in which he makes derogatory casteist comments against CPI MLA Chittiyam Gopakumar surfaced on Wednesday.
In the audio-clip that has since been widely circulated on social media, Manoj is reportedly having a telephonic conversation with his former fiancĂ©e. The conversation is believed to have taken place sometime in January.
While talking about a CPI-organized event in the district in which Adoor MLA Gopakumar was to participate, Manoj can be heard saying: â€śI canâ€™t even drink two drops of water, after seeing Gopakumarâ€™s face.â€ť
The woman is then heard cautioning Manoj against making such casteist remarks, given that he belongs to a progressive political party.
Following social media outrage, CPI leaders were left with no option but to take cognizance of the matter. They were quick to assure the conduct of a fair enquiry.
Party's Pathanamthitta secretary AP Jayan has sought an explanation from Manoj. â€śThe party is very clear about how we deal with such matter. No Communist leader ought to make casteist comments even in personal conversations. The party will strongly adhere to this policy," he told reporters.
The District Executive Council is scheduled to meet on Saturday to take a decision in this regard. Gopakumar is however yet to raise a formal complaint with party leaders in the matter.
"Even before I could raise a complaint, the audio-clip was widely circulated and was brought to the notice of the party leaders. In such a case, I did not feel the need to file a complaint. They have already sought an explanation from Manoj," Gopakumar told The News Minute.
The MLA said that he was taken aback on hearing the "leaked" comments, as he had always maintained cordial relations with Manoj: "I am completely at loss as to what exactly to think of all this. I don't want to make any further comments on this, as the party will take a decision in two days' time.â€ť
When Deccan Chronicle reached out to Manoj to get his version, he claimed that the audio-clip had been deliberately edited with the sole intention to defame him.