THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Controversial chairperson of the Kerala Women’s Commission MC Josephine resigned on Friday after the ruling CPM, which nominated her to the post in 2017, asked her to quit. There was clamour for Josephine’s resignation after her insensitive remarks to an aggrieved woman complainant during a phone-in programme on a television channel evoked widespread criticism.The CPM state secretariat, which met here on Friday, slammed Josephine — a central committee member — for tarnishing the party’s woman-friendly image. She had nine months left in her tenure.
“When she offered to resign, the party accepted the same. That’s the party stance,” said CPM secretary in charge A Vijayaraghavan.As the women’s panel head, Josephine had made several controversial statements and the latest was the “Then, you suffer” remark to the complainant on TV for not approaching the police first against her husband’s assault.
All through the conversation, Josephine was seen restless because of the poor audio quality. The video was shared by thousands on social media platforms. Opposition Congress and the BJP, and CPI’s student wing AISF had sought Josephine’s removal.
Opposition Leader V D Satheesan welcomed the move.
“At first, the CPM attempted to justify her act and the DYFI supported her. When all attempts proved futile, the party opted to demand her resignation. I would say it’s the right decision. An early resignation would have been better,” he said.
“Several married women commit suicide as they do not want to become a liability to their debt-ridden parents. The commission is supposed to instil confidence in them and protect them. The comments of the commission chairperson affected the very existence and nature of the organisation,” added Satheesan.
CHAIRPERSON ISOLATED AT PARTY SECRETARIAT MEET
A slew of CPM leaders felt party would find it difficult to make its stance clear if Josephine continued to hold the chair. At the secretariat meeting, she came under severe attack. While leaders like E P Jayarajan and P K Sreemathy chose to be vocal in their criticism, some others said she should stay away.
CPM gets on with ‘Woman-friendly Kerala’
Against the backdrop of the increasing incidents of atrocities against women, the CPM has decided to launch a statewide ‘Woman-friendly Kerala’ campaign. It aims to appeal to woman folk and society in general.
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