Kerala Power Minister MM Mani In a Soup Over ‘Anti-Women’ Remarks

Women from the organisation ‘Pembilai Orumai’ took to the streets of Munnar to protest against MM Mani’s remarks. 

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Women from the organisation ‘Pembilai Orumai’ took to the streets of Munnar to protest against MM Mani’s remarks. (Photo Courtesy: The News Minute) 

A Kerala native moved the state's High Court on Tuesday seeking a probe into the alleged "sexually loaded statements" made by Power Minister MM Mani, who has strongly refuted the accusations.

In his petition to the court, George Vattukulam accused Mani of making sexually-loaded, anti-woman statements at a public meeting in Kunchithanni on Sunday.

George quoted the minister as saying that the women leaders and "Pembilai Orumai" the women activists of plantation workers in hilly Idukki district had regularly indulged in "an orgy of drinking and other activities" during their month-long stir in Munnar last year.

"The respondent is a habitual offender and regularly uses abusive language and sexually-loaded statements, especially against the women," the petition said. The petition further accused Mani of using abusive language against efficient civil service officers.

Pembilai Orumai is an organisation of women plantation workers in Idukki district, formed in 2015. The organisation had protested against Kannan-Devan hills plantations, asking for better wages and working conditions. 

According to a report by The News Minute, several Pembilai Orumai took to the roads of Munnar on Sunday, to protest against the minister's remarks.

The organisation's leader Gomathi Augustine shouted slogans and lay down on the road, refusing to move till the Minister met the women and apologised to them personally.

Mani, however, has refuted the allegation against him on the floor of state assembly.

I have not used the word woman even once in my 17-minute speech.
Kerala Power Minister MM Mani

He added that his statements had been edited by the media, a section of which was against him.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also backed MM Mani in the assembly, saying that the miniter had been speaking his rustic tongue, and that his statements had been "fabricated and used for political gains."

The high court is expected to take up the petition for hearing on Thursday.

(With inputs from PTI and The News Minute)

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