Kerala Minister Saji Cherian Resigns After Backlash On Alleged Anti-Constitution Remarks

Cheriyan said that his recent speech was incorrectly interpreted or partially depicted or carried by the news media which resulted in conveying a wrong message that he disrespected the Constitution.

By Talibuddin Khan
Wed, 06 Jul 2022 08:34 PM IST
Minute Read
Kerala Minister Saji Cherian Resigns After Backlash On Alleged Anti-Constitution Remarks
Image Credits: Saji Cherian/Twitter

A day after he courted controversy with his alleged degrading remarks on the Constitution of India, Kerala minister Saji Cherian on Wednesday resigned from the state cabinet, which was later accepted by Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan. The resignation came amidst mounting criticism from various quarters, including the Opposition, over his controversial remarks.

Apparently succumbing to pressure, Cherian -- a senior CPI(M) leader who holds Cultural Affairs, Fisheries and Youth Affairs portfolios in the cabinet -- met media persons at the Chief Minister's Office and announced that he has handed over his resignation to CM Pinarayi Vijayan. He is the first minister to resign from the second LDF government headed by Vijayan.

Amid Opposition calls for his sacking, Cherian said it was his independent decision to quit as minister. He insisted that it was never his intention to disrespect the Constitution for which he has the highest regard and respect. Cherian said that his recent speech was incorrectly interpreted or partially depicted or carried by the news media which resulted in conveying a wrong message that he disrespected the Constitution.

"I have resigned and it's my personal decision. I have never ever defamed the Constitution. A particular part from the speech was taken and the media fabricated it to weaken the CPIM and the LDF," Cheriyan said.

Cherian courted controversy while addressing a CPI-M programme at Mallapally in Pathanamthitta district on Monday and had said in his remark that India's constitution can be used to "loot" the people of the country.

"British prepared it, Indians wrote it and implemented it. It's been 75 years. India wrote a beautiful constitution that can be used to loot. In that constitution, there are few places that have references to secularism, and democracy but it can be exploited," he had said.

Earlier in the day, CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said that the party was holding discussions to take an appropriate step in the said matter. Meanwhile, State Congress leader K. Muraleedharan had said that they will approach the court in this matter if the party had not taken any action against Cherian.

"If CPIM does not take action in the case of minister Saji Cherian who spoke degrading about our constitution, the opposition will approach the court. The statement is a prima facie insult to the Constitution," K Muraleedharan said.

Meanwhile, Union Minister V Muralidheeran also condemned his statement and termed it anti-national. "Kerala Minister Saji Cherian humiliated the Indian Constitution in his speech. This is an anti-national statement made by him. What is more surprising is that he is giving a clarification now. He doesn't know anything about the Constitution," V Muraleedharan said.

A two-time MLA and first-time minister, Cherian had been representing the Chengannur constituency in the state Assembly since 2018. The 57-year-old leader was considered a strongman of the ruling party in the Alappuzha district and a confidante of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.


(With Agencies Inputs)

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