Former Congress leader Cherian Philip has landed in a controversy after making unsavoury comments about some Congress women ticket seekers, saying that they had to perform sexual favours to get ticket to contest elections.
"The shirtless protest staged by Youth Congress activists is an imitable one. Earlier, many Congress women who staged similar protest behind doors were given tickets to contest polls," Philip's posted on Facebook on Sunday, inviting the wrath of women's activists and leaders.
Earlier, Members of Youth Congress had launched a 'shirtless protest' against ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, demanding resignation of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
A similar shirtless protest took place when the Youth Congress leaders took out a street march in Thrissur a few days ago, after removing their shirt in protest against denial of seats to contest local body elections.
Philip’s comments created furore in Congress with party state chief V M Sudheeran demanding withdrawal of the anti-woman statement.
"He should not have said this and should withdraw the controversial remarks and apologise to women and general public," Sudheeran said.
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.
CPI(M) Rajya Sabha MP and AIDWA leader T N Seema demanded that Cherian Philip withdraw the remarks immediately and apologise to the women community.
However, despite the protest against him, Philip stuck to his stand. In another post, he defended himself saying he did not make any misogynist remark. "I have not insulted any woman personally. I respect women very much. I only meant some who are an insult to the entire womenfolk," he said.
Cherian Philip started his political career through KSU, the student wing of Congress, and was a close associate of AK Antony. He had occupied several top posts in the party before he quit it in 2001.
He is now a consultant to CPM-run Kairali and People channels.
(With inputs from PTI)