Sexual abuse allegation is party matter, CPM minister

P K Sasi

As more voices called for a police action on the sexual harassment allegation against CPM MLA P K Sasi, a senior minister in the CPM-led state government said the allegation was a party matter and the state government was not in a position to intervene.

Minister for Industries E P Jayarajan, who chairs Cabinet meetings in the absence of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday that no complaint regarding the allegation was placed before the government.

Vijayan is currently in the US for a medical treatment.

“The party’s take on the matter will be stated by the party secretary,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, activists of the BJP-affiliated Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha staged protests against Sasi in Palakkad.

Sasi, the MLA from Shoranur in Palakkad district, is reported to have sexually harassed a Palakkad-based woman leader of the CPM-affiliated Democratic Youth Federation of India.

The woman claimed that the 61-year-old MLA tried to molest her in a party office in Mannarkad.

The CPM has commenced an internal probe on the allegation even as it faces criticism for having delayed action, though it received a complaint three weeks ago.

Kerala Women’s Commission (KWC) said it would initiate action if the woman filed a formal petition regarding the reported abuse.

Commission chairperson M C Josephine pointed out that the complainant had not filed a petition with the KWC or made her allegation public.

“The party and the commission are two separate entities,” she said.

CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had, on Tuesday, confirmed having received a complaint three weeks ago.

The party has dismissed suggestions of handing over the complaint to the police.

Balakrishnan and the CPM central leadership have dismissed reports that the state unit initiated action only after the central leadership intervened.

The CPM, however, faces questions on treating the allegation as an entirely internal matter of the party.

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Sexual abuse allegation is party matter, CPM minister

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