Kerala Health minister K K Shailaja on Tuesday demanded apology from Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala for his controversial remark on Congress-links with the health inspector, who molested a woman who sought COVID-19 negative certificate.
At a press conference, Chennithala was questioned over the health inspector's affiliation to Congress. "The health inspector is a worker of the Congress affiliated service union. If all the Congress workers sexually assault women like this how can women live?" a media person asked.
Responding to the question, Chennithala said, "Is there any written rule that only DYFI activists can rape? It is being falsely propagated that the accused Pradeep Kumar is a Congress activist. When I enquired, I couldn't find this."
The opposition leader's reply invited the ire of several people on social media. Kerala health minister, in a Facebook post said, "Ramesh Chennithala must apologise for making a statement which insults women. No accused who insults women will have a place in the health department."
Meanwhile, Chennithala said that his words have been misconstrued. "What I meant was not just DYFI workers but NGO union workers are also involved in sexual assault. There should not be any kind of assault against women."
He added that this is the government's agenda to divert attention of the public from the two instances of rape and requested people to not fall for that trap.