Kerala polls: Denied seat, Kerala Mahila Congress chief tonsures her head

The moment she realized that her name has not been included in Vypeen seat, she spoke with a smile on her face before the media on her decision to shave off her hair in protest.
Congress leader Lathika Subhash tonsures her head in protest against the underrepresentation of women candidates. (Photo| BP Deepu, EPS)
Congress leader Lathika Subhash tonsures her head in protest against the underrepresentation of women candidates. (Photo| BP Deepu, EPS)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a major embarrassment to the Congress leadership, Kerala Mahila Congress president Lathika Subhash stepped down from her role. She announced her resignation at Indira Bhavan immediately after watching party president Mullapally Ramachandran's press meet at New Delhi where she was denied a ticket from the Vypeen constituency. She went one step ahead and tonsured her head on the veranda of Indira Bhavan.

Taking a jibe at the Congress leadership, she maintained that one side of her head is shaved off in protest against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's anti-women policies and the inhuman attitude taken by the Narendra Modi Government in the Katva incident, while the other half is in protest against the denial of the seat to her. 

56-year-old Lathika Subhash belongs to the "A" group led by senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy. But she has never shown undue loyalty to the Oommen Chandy camp. Ettumanoor native Lathika has been working round the clock for the party and she was a regular presence at Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala’s “Aishwarya Kerala Yatra ''.

The Mahila Congress leadership had sought 20 per cent representation in the candidate list where at least two women leaders should get representation from each district. But this was not maintained which led her to take the extreme step of resigning from her official capacity and also in tonsuring her head. She began her speech by saying that the much-awaited Congress list has been quite disappointing.

“My aim is to become a corrective force in the party. It is high time the Congress party stands with the women. I will not go anywhere and have no intention to join any other party. Even if the leadership doesn’t decide to give 20 % representation to women, at least one woman from all the 14 districts should have been included. Now my colleagues are putting pressure on me to contest as an independent candidate from my home town constituency, Ettumanur. First, let me speak to my family members and I will then take a call on my future course of action", said Lathika Subhash.

UDF convener M M Hassan reached Indira Bhavan to initiate damage controlling measures with the wounded woman leader. But Lathika Subhash asked him with her trademark smile on her face, “Where is the Ettumanoor seat she offered in the beginning”? Hassan was at a loss of words and tried to pacify her, but to no avail.

She sought his blessings and fell on his feet and got into her car and left. Now all eyes are on Lathika Subhash’s next step on whether she will fight in Ettumanur as an independent candidate.

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