With the Congress leadership under pressure over allegation against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien in connection with the Suryanelli gangrape case, a party member of Parliament in the state has kicked up a row by making insulting comments on the rape victim.
K Sudhakaran's comment during a media interaction in Muscat triggered widespread condemnation not only from the opposition but even from women leaders of the Congress.
The Lok Sabha MP from Kannur made sweeping comments against the girl and linked it with the remarks made by former judge of the Kerala high court, Justice R Basanth, who was part of the two-member bench which acquitted the accused in the case in 2005.
A TV channel last week recorded a conversation of Basanth in which he justified the judgement and said there was ample evidence to show that the victim had been used for child prostitution.
Reacting to Sudhakaran's comments, Mahila Congress leader and All India Congress Committee secretary Shanimol Usman wanted her party colleague to apologise for his remarks on the Suryanelli girl.
Joining issue, Mahila Congress state president Bindu Krishna said Sudhakaran's comment was an insult to women as a whole. Communist Party of India-Marxist Rajya Sabha member T N Seema wanted the state government to register a case against Sudhakaran for his ‘uncalled for comments’.
CPI-M veteran and opposition leader V S Achuthanandan termed Sudhakaran's comments as ‘heinous’ and totally unbecoming of a member of Parliament. His words went against the cultural spirit of Kerala, the octogenarian leader said.
A former state minister, Sudhakaran had often created controversies by his off-the-cuff remarks like his widely-deplored statement that he was witness to some Supreme Court judges being bribed in an 'abkari' (excise) case.