Cherian Philip expresses regret for anti-women remarks

A day after kicking up a storm by his controversial remarks against women ticket seekers in the Congress, CPI(M) fellow traveller Cherian Philip on Monday expressed regrets.

Thiruvananthapuram: A day after kicking up a storm by his controversial remarks against women ticket seekers in the Congress, CPI(M) fellow traveller Cherian Philip on Monday expressed regrets as Marxist party leaders led by Brinda Karat came out against him.

In a facebook post, Philip expressed regrets for his comments saying "If my comments have hurt the female community, I express regret. I have never hurt any women through my words or deeds in my life," he said.

"I had only pointed certain fingers at improper practises in the society. I am very sorry that some people tried to create misunderstanding with regard to my remarks," he said in the post hours after he said he stood by his remarks.

Philip had in a facebook post yesterday described the shirtless protest by youth Congress workers, who were denied tickets for the local body polls as 'model protest' and had said 'all those women who had taken out similar protests clandestinely were alloted seats by the Congress'.

Women politicians, cutting across party lines, had demanded his apology for making the unsavoury remarks.

However, CPI(M) state Secretary, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and politbureau member Pinarayi Vijayan, justified his comments, while senior Marxist leaders, V S Achuthanandan, Brinda Karat and former ministers Thomas Issac and M A Baby, sought his apology and withdrawal of the same.

Karat said in Delhi that to make a generalise statement against Congress women leaders in this way, is 'highly unfortunate and condemnable'.

"Nobody from any political party, from any side of the spectrum can make general accusation against women in politics. Therefore I fully disagree with Cherian Philip and ask him to withdraw his facebook post," she said.

Issac in a facebook post said 'sixty per cent of women are coming to power in the state in the local body election next month. Cherian's remarks were an 'insult' to them. What he intended to say is not important. He should withdraw the post and end the controversy'.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, and KPCC President V M Sudheeran, lashed out at Cherian Philip, once a close aide of senior Congress leader A K Antony, who had left the party over some differences, and demanded his apology.

BJP President V Muraleedharan also condemned the remarks of Cherian and said it was unfortunate that some CPI(M) leaders justified it.