Hours after stirring controversy over remarks against the Indian Constitution, Kerala Minister Saji Cheriyan expressed his regret at the state Assembly and said that he respects the constitution but said that his comments are being twisted. "I respect our constitution and am a politician that upholds the value of our constitution.
The news that I criticised the constitution is twisted, express regret and apology," said Cheriyan. "I was trying to point out that withdrawing labour laws and imposing new labour codes will lead to extreme exploitation of workers. While speaking about the above issues in very strong terms it led to misinterpretation or spread of a message that I had not intended.I express my deep regret and apology."
He also highlighted that the directive principles of the constitution say that financial security and social justice should be ensured for all and the exploitation of the same would affect crores of people across the nation. "The directive principles of our constitution say that financial security and social justice should be ensured for all. But there is no provision in the constitution to seek legal remedy for implementing directive principles. If exploited crores of people in the country would be affected," he added.
He also stressed that the constitution should be strong enough to lower the growing inequality in the country. "The directive principles should be strengthened or else the constitution will not be strong enough to fight the growing inequality in the country. It was this apprehension that I was trying to express in my own words," he informed. Cherian also clarified that his views on the withdrawal of labour laws and the imposition of new laws were expressed in very strong terms and led to misinterpretation.
The Kerala Minister evoked controversy while addressing a CPI-M programme at Mallapally in Pathanamthitta district, saying that the "Indian constitution can exploit people". Several people including the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly VD Satheesan hit out at the controversial remarks. Taking to Twitter, Satheesan wrote, "Saji Cherian, Kerala Minister has made the most insulting statements about #IndianConstitution. Obnoxious words. He should resign or Chief Minister should demand the minister's resignation. #Constitution".