Thiruvananthapuram: Congress leader turned CPI(M) fellow traveller Cherian Philip has kicked up a massive controversy by claiming that some women Congress workers had to disrobe to secure party tickets to contest polls.
In a Facebook post, Philip, a former close aide of senior Congress leader AK Antony, who had left the party over some differences, made the remarks against women contestants while lauding the 'shirtless' protest taken out by some youth Congress activists in Thrissur recently after they were denied tickets to contest the local body polls next month.
"The protest by youth Congress workers was a new model of protest which can be followed. However, this form of protest had been earlier carried out secretly by some women Congress workers and they managed to get tickets," he had stated.
His unsavoury comments led to vociferous protests from women politicians cutting across party lines.
Later, Philip in another post, denied that the comments were 'anti-women' and said it was intended to point fingers at men who exploit women.
"I have not made any anti-women comments nor insulted women. I have always respected them. I had pointed fingers at some men who exploit women and insult the female community as a whole," he said.
However, his clarification has failed to cut ice with the Congress leadership with Kerala PCC President V M Sudheeran demanding that Philipo should apologise and withdraw the post immediately.
Mahila Congress leaders Bindu Krishna and Shanimol Usman said the remarks were an "insult" to all women. Bindu Krishna said they were also contemplating legal action against him.