Thriuvanthapuram, October 19: Making a sexist comment, former Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee secretary Cherian Philip on Sunday said that several women won seats in Congress party after they disrobed in secret. “The protest by Youth Congress workers was a new model of protest which can be followed. However, this form of protest had been earlier carried out secretly by some women Congress workers and they managed to get tickets,” wrote Philip on Facebook referring to the ‘shirtless’ protest by Youth Congress workers in Thrissur demonstrating skewed distribution of tickets in the upcoming local body polls.

Philip’s comment invited fierce criticism from women leaders of all parties including Congress. Mahila Congress leaders Bindu Krishna and Shanimol Usman termed the remarks as an “insult” to all women and said that they would contemplate legal action against him. CPI (M) Rajya Sabha MP and AIDWA leader T N Seema sought apology from Philip and demanded to withdraw the remarks immediately. (ALSO READ: Country going through very difficult phase, says Congress)

Despite searing criticism, Philip initially stood firm on his statement and said he could back his allegations with solid proof. “If I start revealing things then many Congress leaders will lose their face,” he said. “The truth cannot be covered up if I publicly apologise. When A K Antony was KPCC president and K M Sudheeran was vice president I was secretary of KPCC. I have not made public the exploitation by Congress leaders which is well known to even Sudheeran,” he wrote in Facebook.

However Philip later defended himself saying that he didn’t make any anti-woman remark. “I have not made any anti-women statement. I have not mentioned the name of any woman… I have targeted those men who are making women a prey in politics,” he said.

Reacting to Philip’s post, KPCC president Sudheeran also demanded an apology from Philip. “Such a statement from a leader like him was not expected. He has insulted all women in the state and hence he should withdraw that statement and publicly apologise,” Time of India quoted Sudheeran as saying.