A day after Kerala's Culture Minister Saji Cheriyan resigned over his anti-Constitution remark, another CPM MLA courted trouble with a comment in the Assembly that the opposition has called an insult to Dr BR Ambedkar.
CPM's Manalur MLA Murali Perunelly mocked the popular salutation 'Jai Bhim', which is raised in respect of Dr Ambedkar, social reformer and the chief architect of the Indian Constitution.
"Now slogans of Jai Bhim, Jai Bhim can be heard. What Bhim? Are you talking about the beam of the Palarivattom Flyover that collapsed?," Perunelly said in an Assembly session on Thursday.
Perunelly's reference was a possible play on words, mocking the demolition of the Palarivattom Flyover that was built during the Oommen Chandy ministry's term when IUML leader VK Ebrahim Kunju was the PWD minister.
However, the opposition raised its objection with IUML's Manarkkad MLA N Shamsudheen and Congress leader T Siddique demanding an apology from Perunelly.
"Statements that question the sanctity of the house are being raised," said Siddique.
Other members of the opposition also joined them in protest by shouting 'Jai Bhim', following which Perunelly remarked that he hadn't insulted Ambedkar.
Perunelly had made the remark while mentioning Saji Cheriyan's 'democratic decency' to step down in the wake of his anti-Constitution remark. "On the basis of comrade Saji Cheriyan's speech, the Congress is pretending to be protectors of the Constitution," Perunelly had said before making the controversial statement.
Meanwhile, back home in Chengannur after resigning his ministership, Saji Cheriyan was given a warm reception by his followers.