After being denied candidacy in the upcoming Legislative Assembly polls in Kerala, Mahila Congress Chief Lathika Subhash is set to contest the election from Ettumanoor constituency in Kottayam district. Hurt after the party neglected her in the first list of candidates for the elections, Subhash stepped down from her post and held a protest against the party for zero representation of women candidates. She also tonsured her head in protest against seat denial bringing much embarrassment to Congress.
She wrote a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi to express her discontent with the candidate list as it ‘neglects’ Mahila Congress workers. "Congress had miserably failed to understand the feeling of Mahila Congress and its workers. As a woman, I feel this is planned neglect against us. None of the Mahila Congress representatives had got the ticket to contest in the election," she said.
Subhash does not have anything to do with Congress and hence she has reportedly blocked any form of discussion with it. Media reports say that senior congress leaders have warned her of disciplinary action being taken against her if she contests against the UDF candidate. However, Subhash remains unhinged.
“I have cut all my ties with the party. Let leaders take any action, I am least bothered. I will go by the decision of my followers,” she said after addressing a convention of her supporters in Ettumanoor. Subhash also said that she shaved off her head to call for justice for women in the party. “I got my hair removed for justice for women in the party. I am not joining any other party but will resign from my post,” she said on Sunday.
The 56-year-old claims that she worked for Congress since she was only 16. Media reports that she has more experience than many MLAs put together. She also contended that in every election, her name surfaces in the first list but gets removed in the final list of Congress candidate list in Kerala assembly polls.
“Several local party workers, friends and family members have visited me. They are urging me to contest as an independent candidate. I will have to take a call on it after discussing it with my local party workers here. My husband, K R Subhash and my family members have advised me to decide things depending on what my conscience suggests,” said Subhash before announcing her candidature.
Senior party members allege that she was ‘adamant’ about being allocated Ettumanoor and did not give any other option.
"She gave an alternative option only after all the decisions were made in Delhi. By then everything was decided. It was unfortunate," Congress leader Oommen Chandy was quoted as saying by the agency report.
(Edited by Amrita Ghosh)