Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan today defended power minister M M Mani, saying he had not made any 'anti-women' comments against the activists of 'Pembila Orumai', a women's collective of plantation workers. Vijayan also said Mani had not tried to create "any hurdle" during the anti-encroachment drive on government lands in Idukki. "Before law, there is no consideration as MLA or minister.
There were complaints. A probe was held and no material was found warranting registering of a case against Mani," Vijayan said during question hour in the state assembly. Mani had recently courted controversy when he allegedly made some offensive remarks against activists of 'Pembilai Orumai', a women's collective of plantation workers of Munnar. The minister had also allegedly stated Devikulam sub-collector Sreeram Venkataraman should be sent to 'Oolampara' (asylum) for removing a 30-feet cross put up allegedly on an encroached piece of government land in Munnar last month. Congress MLAs-- V D Satheeshan and P T Thomas-- asked the government the reason for not registering a case against Mani for his comments against women workers and the IAS officer.
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