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Chengannur Bypoll: Ex-Congress Leader Sobhana George Alleges That to Rise in Party Women Have to be 'Pets of Someone'

The vicious statement came from the woman leader who represented Chengannur Assembly constituency on Congress ticket from 1991 to 2005.

Chandrakanth Viswanath | CNN-News18

Updated:March 21, 2018, 3:34 PM IST
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Chengannur Bypoll: Ex-Congress Leader Sobhana George Alleges That to Rise in Party Women Have to be 'Pets of Someone'
File photo of former Congress leader Sobhana George.
Chengannur: Ex-Congress leader Sobhana George mounted a scathing attack on her former party and said that women in the grand old party could not rise through the organisational ranks unless they were “pets of someone”.

"Now the Congress (party) is in touch with me. The Congress leaders who were once reluctant to talk to me have started talking now. However, I am a person who does not go back on decisions once made. I would not issue a blanket statement that Congress party is against women. However, it is certain that you have to be the pet of someone to get some position," she told reporters after sharing the dais with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at a convention of LDF, where the ruling CPM is fighting crucial Chengannur by-poll to retain the seat.

The vicious statement came from the woman leader who represented Chengannur Assembly constituency on Congress ticket from 1991 to 2005.

It has to be noted that the entry of Sobhana into electoral politics in 1991 as a Congress candidate at the age of 29 itself was a rude shock and a surprise to many in the party.

The announcement of her candidature came from the party High Command apparently by keeping the state leadership in dark as D Vijayakumar, a local leader, had already started the campaign as party’s candidate.

Incidentally, this time, 65-year-old Vijayakumar is the choice of the Congress party.

Sobhana, one of most important personalities in the state politics, is not a stranger to controversies.

In 2002, a non-bailable arrest warrant was issued against her in a case of a forged 'intelligence report' connecting then Chief Minister AK Antony's office, stating that the Tourism and Fisheries Minister in his government, K V Thomas, was involved in Rs 366-crore Hawala transaction which took place in 1999-2000.

The daughter of Thankamma George, a leader of women's wing of Kerala Congress, Sobhana was the first female General Secretary of the State Youth Congress Committee.

Though she entered the Assembly by pushing aside a favourite of Karunakaran, in no time Shobhana went on to be his close confidant. She was one among the nine MLAs who resigned on July 5, 2005, in solidarity with the leader in his rebellion with the grand old party. She was its General Secretary when Karunakaran founded the Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran).

Her association with Chengannur seat ended as she parted ways with Congress party.

Though she contested as a UDF candidate from Thiruvananthapuram (West) seat in 2006, a rebel Congress candidate spoilt her chances.

During the 2016 assembly polls, Sobhana returned to her home turf and contested as a rebel candidate to end with a mere 3,966 votes.

However, she was one the factors that led to the defeat of Congress leader PC Vishnunath, who was aiming for a hat-trick at the seat.

The Chengannur by-election was necessitated by the sudden demise of CPM legislator KK Ramachandran Nair in January this year.

Even though the date is yet to be announced, all the three rival fronts have begun campaigning for the by-election.

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| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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