Intolerance stemming from desperation and fear of defeat appears to have made the CPM go to any extent to target Congress, crossing all borders of decency. Close on the heels of calling Congress president Rahul Gandhi by his mock name ‘Pappu’ in an editorial in its mouthpiece 'Deshabhimani’, came the slanderous comment against UDF nominee in Alathur constituency Ramya Haridas by none other than LDF convenor A Vijayaraghavan.
He said that Ramya went to visit League leaders Panakkad Thangal and PK Kunhalikutty. He expressed concerns over her plight after visiting the latter, implying the ice-cream parlour case where Kunhalikutty was accused of sexually exploiting a young woman. That he was acquitted in the ice cream parlour case was a different matter.
However, the LDF felt the remarks, in bad taste were untimely and would give the UDF an edge during the election time. Unfortunately, the remarks were not condemned, though there is a feeling within the front that it was uncalled for. Though Alathur is an LDF stronghold and its candidate PK Biju is seeking a second term, there is a feeling that the comments would go further against it as Ramya has succeeded in creating waves across the constituency. She is seen as a sore for the LDF in what was seen as a safe sail through for Biju.
Ramya is the president of Kunnamangalam block panchayat in neighbouring Kozhikode district. She came into Youth Congress through Rahul's talent hunt programmes. A good singer and dancer, Ramya, who has had a very modest childhood, popular on social media and also among youngsters and meets her campaign expenses through crowd funding. Her singing and dancing has left the LDF unhappy which can only be seen as intolerance.
LDF ally CPI which has often taken strong positions on various issues feels that targeting Ramya on such flimsy grounds would go against the spirit of renaissance principles, including gender justice, the Front was expected to uphold.
Personal accusations aimed at defaming her go against the spirit of Left ideals and morals. Ramya has said she will lodge a complaint against Vijayaraghavan. She said the comment from the convenor of the front which ran the Government that claimed to champion the cause of renaissance was shocking. “I too have a family and parents. The Chief Minister talks about women safety and the government organises women wall for renaissance. The offensive remark came from the same people and this was simply disappointing,” she said.
The CPM leaders should have enquired about me at my place, she said, adding that it should be a “battle of ideologies, not war between individuals”. This is not the first time that Ramya has been taunted. Immediately after she began campaign, left fellow traveller Deepa Nishant, recently in the news over charges of plagiarism, lashed out against through a Facebook post. It said the real issue in the election should not be candidate’s singing, dancing talent or religion since it was not a reality show.
Pat came Ramya's response: “I will sing and speak. These are my weapons. I'll ignore such criticisms." Responses from Congress leaders say that there was nothing wrong in a candidate knowing to sing or dance. They also did not spare the LDF for giving a second chance to an actor, hinting at Innocent seeking a second term from Chalakudy.