In a joint statement released by the UDF female candidate in Kerala, the candidates said that the anti-woman remark made by former Idukki MP Joyce George against Rahul Gandhi is an unforgivable crime. The Pinarayi government and the CPM, which came to power on the pretext of women's empowerment, are constantly insulting women.
The seriousness of the allegation is heightened by the fact that these remarks were made when Kerala minister MM Mani was present on the stage. They said, “There is no doubt that people, including women, will react strongly against this in the upcoming elections.”
The candidates stressed, “ Rahul Gandhi is a leader who advocates for secularism and women's empowerment in the country. He is a person who can interact with anyone without hesitation. He is a leader who goes down to the common people of the country, which includes farmers and fishermen, regardless of gender. Making obscene remarks against someone like Rahul Gandhi for mere political differences is an insult not only to him but to all women. Women are aware of what to do and what not to do. No one, not even Joyce George, should be allowed to take a moral class for them.”
The statement even criticised MM Mani, one of the senior ministers in the state, for smiling at the obscene remarks made by Joyce George. When the issue gained wide attention, MM Mani came out in support of Joyce George. It is important to note that MM Mani is the person who had earlier made obscene remarks against women plantation labourers, who formed the collective ‘Pembilai Orumai.'
On April 23, 2017, MM Mani made uncharitable remarks against the women's group by saying that the media persons who had come to cover various events in Munnar were engaged in activities such as "drinking and many other things." He even said that during the Pembilai Orumai strike for a better wage, "indecent activity" was happening in the forests. Till now, he has not expressed regret over his obscene remarks.
The joint statement added, “Joyce George's anti-feminist and culturally empty statement is just the latest example of the Left's degeneration into utter misogyny. It ranges from the denial of justice to the girls of Walayar to the abuse of TP Chandrasekharan 's wife KK Rama. TP Chandrasekharan was murdered by the CPM. The female candidates even called for strong legal action against LDF’s Joyce George.