Thiruvananthapuram, May 15 : Kayamkulam MLA and CPI(M) leader Prathiba Hari has been at the receiving end of a volley of cyber abuse by alleged CPI(M) supporters on social media in the wake of a comment she had put up in response to a social media post by health minister K K Shailaja.

Ms. Shailaja had taken to social media the other day to tom-tom the success of the state government’s ‘Aardram’ mission, announcing the sanctioning of cath labs - hospital rooms equipped with diagnostic imaging technology - in district hospitals and medical colleges as part of the scheme.

The minister had also lauded Pathanamthitta MLA Veena George on her efforts to successfully establish a cath lab in Pathanamthitta general hospital.

Responding to the minister’s post, Ms. Prathiba Hari had bemoaned that the taluk hospital in her constituency had been starved of funds for renovation despite the finance minister having earmarked funds for the taluk hospital in the annual budget.

“The propaganda from certain quarters that no development works have materialized in our respective constituencies due to the apathy of MLAs like me have been hurtful. We also yearn to receive praise from you,” the Kayamkulam MLA commented on the health minister’s post.

What was apparently supposed to be a constructive dialogue carried out in good faith by the MLA rubbed CPI(M) workers on the cyber space the wrong way. They viewed the MLA’s comments as impudent and inopportune, bemoaning that it only served to give ammunition to the detractors of the CPI(M)-led ruling dispensation to undermine what they believed was a creditable achievement of the state government.

Soon the MLA was inundated with a volley of abusive posts by alleged CPI(M) cyber trolls. With the attacks allegedly breaching the limits of decency, Ms. Prathiba Hari took to social media on Wednesday to hit back at the trolls.

“From some of the comments, I realise that a few people have personal issues with me. They have even dragged my personal life into the row. I am ashamed to call them as ‘comrades’. They are not deserving of the title ‘comrade’. What else can I call this as but ‘cyber goondaism’,” she wrote, flagging the vile ad hominem attacks against her by alleged CPI(M) workers.

The cyber attack on the woman CPI(M) MLA by alleged CPI(M) workers comes even as the party has been positioning itself as a champion of women’s rights and women empowerment.

At the height of the Sabarimala agitation by right-wing and other reactionary forces against lifting of curbs on women’s entry into the hill shrine, the CPI(M)-led LDF had organized the “women’s wall”, a human chain comprising only women from Kasargod to Thiruvananthapuram, purportedly to champion equality for women and uphold renaissance values.

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