Oommen Chandy shrugs off allegations of ‘goonda leader’

May 13th, 2009 - 5:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, May 13 (IANS) Called a “goonda leader” by State Cooperation Minister G. Sudhakaran, leader of opposition Oommen Chandy Wednesday defended himself, saying he had been a legislator for the past 38 years and in public life for the past 45 years and his “track record is clean”.
Addressing reporters here soon after Sudhakaran termed Chandy as a “goonda leader”, Chandy said he has never uttered any inflammatory statements.

“I have been a legislator for the past 38 years and in public life for the past 45 years and my track record is clean. Just because someone says someone is a ‘goonda leader’, it will not stick. It is for the people of the state to come to conclusions based on one’s deeds, actions and words,” Chandy said.

“Sudhakaran has been given a free hand to make such remarks by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) to divert issues of bad governance by the Left government,” Chandy added.

The war of words between the two started Tuesday after pro-Congress employees attached to the state secretariat shouted slogans against derogatory remarks made by Sudhakaran on secretariat employees at a meeting earlier this week.

The employees reached the office of the minister in the secretariat and soon a scuffle broke out between the protesting workers and the office staff of the minister.

Two pro-Congress leaders were arrested and when news spread of the incident spread, Chandy issued a statement that Sudhakaran should apologise for his derogatory remarks against employees attached to the opposition.

“Why should I apologise, instead Chandy should apologise because it is he who is promoting such activities and behaving like a ‘goonda leader’,” Sudhakaran said addressing reporters here.

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan reacting to Tuesday’s events after the weekly cabinet meeting Wednesday told reporters that the chief secretary would inquire into the incident.

“Following what happened yesterday (Tuesday) it has been decided to strengthen the security and also the discipline to be maintained inside the secretariat,” Achuthanandan said.

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