World Bank Writes to Jaitley After Kerala Minister’s Racist Slur

The minister issued an apology on Thursday after the World Bank took serious note of the remarks.

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Kerala’s Public Works Minister G Sudhakaran.
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Kerala’s Public Works Minister G Sudhakaran recently flung racial slurs against a World Bank official over the delay in some road projects funded by the organisation. The latter has now written to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to lodge its protest and said that it has taken note of the minister’s comment and is taking it seriously, according to The News Minute.

Sudhakaran had issued an apology on Thursday saying:

I would write a letter to the official, tendering an apology for my remark. Otherwise, when the WB team visits me next time, I would express my regret over the incident.

According to the Indian Express, the CPI (M) minister indulged in a racial attack after reviewing the progress of the Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP), aided by the World Bank, on Monday. The World Bank had reportedly expressed their concern over the delays in the project in the past as well.

Sudhakaran is reported to have said,

World Bank means America. Kerala has existed even before America was born. Don’t threaten us to withdraw the bank loan. KSTP is one of the corrupt projects in Kerala. Officials of the World Bank are responsible for the tardy progress of the project. Since I became the Public Works Minister, the representatives of the World Bank had met me four times… Their (World Bank) team leader is an African- American. That means he belongs to the race of Obama. He is a Negro. Centuries back, they were ferried from Africa to America, and were engaged in bonded labour. When slavery ended, they were freed. This official is part of it.

Dr Bernard Aritua, the person against whom Sudhakaran made the alleged comments, is the leader of the team handling the KSTP account. He is also a senior infrastructure specialist with the World Bank.

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