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Wednesday, July 06, 2022

From calling Pinarayi Vijayan a toddy tapper’s son to dog comparison: K Sudhakaran faces Left ire again

The Congress chief in Kerala made the latest offensive remarks about the CM during the Thrikkakara by-poll campaign.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram |
Updated: May 19, 2022 7:35:44 am
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president K Sudhakaran (File Photo)

He is the strongman who took on the CPI(M) in their stronghold of Kannur and was appointed the state Congress chief after the party’s debacle in the Assembly elections last year. Since then Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president K Sudhakaran has courted controversy quite a few times, including in March when he defended a partyman accused of killing a Students’ Federation of India (SFI) worker in Idukki.

Sudhakaran on Tuesday triggered another row when he made offensive remarks about Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who also is from Kannur, while campaigning in Thrikkakara near Kochi, where a by-election is scheduled for May 31. “He is like a dog that has broken off its chain. Is there anyone to control him? Is there anyone to convince him? He is moving around everywhere,’’ the Congress leader said. One of his comments about the CM last year had also triggered a controversy.

The by-poll is being seen as a test of Sudhakaran’s organisational prowess and for both him and Opposition leader VD Satheesan it is crucial since it is their first election since assuming charge of their posts.

Senior CPI(M) leader and Left Democratic Front (LDF) convener E P Jayarajan said Sudhakaran’s statement was highly deplorable. “What is wrong if a chief minister sees people during an election campaign? No politician will use such words. The Congress should take action against Sudhakaran. We are also looking for legal remedies against Sudhakaran,” he added.

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The CPI(M) state secretariat, in a statement, called for peaceful protests against the Congress leader. “The Congress is worried about the poll outcome in Thrikkakara. It is desperately trying to create provocations,” it added.

As his remarks led to an uproar in Left circles, the state Congress president said he was ready to withdraw the comment if it hurt anyone. He claimed that “a dog that broke off its chain” was a parable that he used to question why Vijayan was camping in the constituency and burdening the public exchequer at a time the state is facing an acute financial crisis. “I had only questioned that impropriety. If my words hurt anyone, I am ready to withdraw,’’ he added.

Last year, while addressing a party meeting in Kannur, Sudhakaran had taken a dig at Vijayan’s family background, saying.”He (Vijayan) comes from a family of toddy tappers. Helicopter for transporting a person who came from the house of a toddy-tapper … Vijayan, who is the apostle of the working class is marked in history as the first CM who has hired a chopper for travelling.”

As the CM responded by saying that he was proud of his heritage, Sudhakaran justified his comment, saying, “The issue is whether he exploited his post for ensuring luxuries and making his family safe financially. The issue is whether Vijayan has caused loss to the state exchequer by using a helicopter.”

In Thrikkakara, the by-election is being viewed as a referendum on the proposed SilverLine semi high-speed railway project that the LDF government has been pushing. The proposed railway line, which aims to reduce travel time between the state’s northern and southern ends, cuts through Thrikkakara. The by-poll was necessitated by the death of veteran Congress MLA PT Thomas whose wife Uma Thomas is the Congress candidate. The Left has fielded cardiologist Dr Jo Joseph while the BJP candidate is AN Radhakrishnan, its state vice president.

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