Ramya Haridas, the United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate from Alathur Lok Sabha constituency in Kerala, said on Tuesday that she would move the police against the LDF convenor A. Vijayaraghavan on the charge of outraging her modesty and belittling her as a woman hailing from the scheduled caste/scheduled tribe community.
Ms. Haridas said she had sought the video recording of the speech. The diatribe against Ramya Haridas by LDF convenor A Vijayaraghavan as part of the election campaign kicked up a row. Vijayaraghavan's offensive was that Ramya had gone to seek the support and blessings of Muslim League leaders Panakkad Thangal and PK Kunhalikutty. About her meeting, Vijayaraghavan said she she first visited Thangal and then Kunhalikutty. “With this I cannot say what her plight can be now. It's all gone now,” he said.
Fearing that the reference to Kunhalikutty, who had to face a host of allegations over the ice-cream parlour case where a young woman was reportedly assaulted sexually and the issue was taken to court, Vijayaraghavan quickly responded saying his speech was not with any negative intentions. The matter is still in court as there is a plea to reopen the probe against Kunhalikutty and has been moved by none other than CPIM veteran VS Achuthanandan.
Vijayaraghavan was addressing the election rally of LDF candidate in Ponnani, PV Anvar. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also had attended the LDF convention organised in Ponnani on Sunday evening. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan arrived at the venue soon after the speech ended.
Ms. Haridas said she had come up the hard way in politics. "I come from a very ordinary family. I have parents and siblings. They are hurt. I had struggled hard as a woman to get to where I am now,” she said. She said Mr. Vijayaraghavan's comment exposed the hollowness of the LDF's campaign platform, that it stood for the empowerment of women and protection of progressive values.
Ms. Haridas said she felt impelled to fight for justice for the sake of other women, including Dalit women, who might be deterred from striking out in life by fearing such attempts at character assassination.