Opposition demands MM Mani's resignation; Vijayan rules it out

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Pinarayi Vijayan. File

After being cornered by a united Opposition in the Kerala Assembly over his alleged anti-women remarks, Electricity Minister M.M. Mani on Tuesday cried foul and said that he didn't insult women.

Even though the Speaker urged them not to hinder the Q&A session, the Opposition didn't pay heed to it.

On Tuesday, the Opposition moved an adjournment motion in the Assembly.

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Reacting to Mani's rant, BJP State president Kummanam Rajasekharan said efforts were on to isolate those who stand for truth and justice.

Mani's remarks allegedly questioning the character of women activists, who had past year held a series of protests against plantation companies, have invited widespread criticism from many quarters including his own party leaders.

Kerala Police on Monday registered a case against controversial minister MM Mani, who allegedly made lewd comments against a women's collective of Munnar at a public meeting.

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Pembilai Orumai was started back in September 2015, when women tea plantation workers in Munnar went on strike day after day, demanding a higher minimum wage for plantation workers. "I will resign only if my party asks me", he said.

Vijayan, replying to the demands of the Opposition, said that Mani has already tendered an unconditional apology and he need not step down. Some vested interests have blown it out of proportion to make political capital out of it. CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Monday tried to put up a courageous front saying that Mr Mani had tendered a public apology and that the people of the state would understand it.

As mentioned above, Mani is the third of the LDF ministers who have landed in trouble for things they have said and done, and may soon join the ranks of Jayarajan and Saseendran before him, who have been forced to resign for their words and deeds. None should forget that the CPI-M had tall leaders like EMS and others, and it has come to a stage that today it is led by people like Mani.

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The student and youth wings of the Congress party also protested in front of the Assembly demanding Mani's ouster, but they were prevented from reaching the assembly by the police.

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