Remya Haridas: 5 things you should know about this new woman MP from Kerala
Remya Haridas who contested and won the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections from Alathur, Kerala has an interesting story. She made her entry into politics through the Kerala Students Union - the student wing of the Congress. She also served as the Block Panchayat President of Kunnamangalam municipality in Kozhikode district until April this year. But there’s more to Remya Haridas that makes her stand out.
She was scouted by Rahul Gandhi in 2010
Remya was one of the most promising participants of the 'Talent Hunt' that Congress chief Rahul Gandhi held in 2010, in search of upcoming leaders, and was encouraged by him to contest the Lok Sabha elections. After the talent hunt, she was chosen as one of the 10 delegates to attend the Ship for World Youth Programme in Japan, a training programme for young leaders.
She is the only woman MP from Kerala in the 17th Lok Sabha
Of the 20 MPs representing Kerala in the 17th Lok Sabha, Remya Haridas is the only woman to do so. Now, the women of Kerala look to Remya to represent their issues in the Parliament. However, she has faced criticism for her views on the Sabarimala issue, where she says that women not being allowed into the temple is not a gender-inequality issue.
She is Kerala's second Dalit woman MP
In 1971, Bhargavi Thankappan of the CPI became the first Dalit woman MP of Kerala. It has taken 48 years since then, for a Dalit woman to represent the state once again. Remya is now a ray of hope for the Dalit community in Kerala.
She beat LDF opponent P.K. Biju
In the 2019 Lok Sabha Election, Remya Haridas won more than 3.2 lakh votes, beating LDF opponent PK Biju, who has previously won in both 2009 and 2014, with a margin of over 1.5 lakh votes. Remya defeating a far more experienced opponent like PK Biju makes it a huge victory.
“Little sister of Alathur”
Thirty-two-year-old Remya Haridas won the hearts of voters by speaking about her background of being the daughter of a daily wage worker, and living in a house donated by the Indra Awaas Yojana. She also added some fun and engaged them by singing popular Malayalam songs, during her electoral campaign across Alathur. This earned her the nickname 'little sister of Alathur.'