KPCC Chief K Sudhakaran has been booked for allegedly making unsavoury remarks against Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in connection with the upcoming Thrikkakara Assembly by-poll here, two days after his statement triggered a huge political controversy in the southern state, even as the Congress strongly condemned the police action saying the case won't stand legally.
The case was registered against the Congress leader under IPC Section 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) based on a complaint lodged by a local CPI (M) worker, Palarivattom police here said.
Further actions in this regard would be decided later, they said.
An arch political rival of Vijayan, Sudhakaran had made the distasteful remarks against him during an interview given to an online channel recently.
The controversial statement, which he had later justified as a colloquial usage commonly used in northern parts of the state, was made as a response to a question in connection with the Left leaders including the Chief Minister camping in Thrikkakara constituency to campaign for the CPI(M) candidate Jo Joseph.
As the video of the interview went viral on social media platforms, the CPI(M) leaders had rallied behind the CM demanding an apology from Sudhakaran.
Meanwhile, the KPCC on Thursday condemned the police case registered against their chief saying that the case was initiated by the government due to the fear of failure in the Thrikkakara by-poll.
State-wide protest marches would be conducted under the aegis of Congress mandalam committees against the police action, KPCC general secretary U Radhakrishnan said in a statement.
Strongly criticising the Left government and the police, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly V D Satheesan said the Congress leadership was 'rejecting the case with the contempt it deserves'.
"It was a case which has been registered while all other propaganda of the Left leaders has failed. It will not stand legally as Sudhakaran has not made any remark which attracts IPC 153," he told reporters in Kochi.
He also listed a handful of objectionable remarks including "nikrishta jeevi" (derogatory creature), 'paranari' (scoundrel) and "kulamkuthi" (traitor) which Vijayan had allegedly made against his political rivals and others during public speeches in the past.
Satheesan asked whether any case was registered against the Marxist veteran by the police over these objectionable remarks.
But, a case was registered against Sudhakaran even after it was clear that the remark was a colloquial usage and he had said that he was withdrawing it if it hurt the Chief Minister.
A by-poll was necessitated in Thrikkakara Assembly constituency, a traditional Congress bastion, following the demise of party legislator P T Thomas last year.
As the Congress chose Thomas's widow, Uma Thomas as their candidate, the ruling CPI(M) picked cardiologist Jo Joseph to wrestle back the constituency and reach the magic number of 100 seats out of the 140 seats in the state assembly.
The election will take place on May 31 and the counting is on June 3.