Updated: September 19, 2021 10:14:21 am
Two BJP women councillors of the party-controlled Palakkad municipality in Kerala have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah and sought action against a BJP councillor for allegedly humiliating them and issuing threats at a recent party meeting.
The complaint was moved by Prameela Sasidharan, a BJP councillor for 20 years, and Mini Krishna Kumar, who is wife of BJP’s state general secretary C Krishna Kumar, against P Smithesh, who is also BJP’s Palakkad mandalam president.
The complainants stated they were writing after the state leadership failed to take action on their complaint. According to them, the alleged incident took place at a party parliamentary committee meeting on August 26.
Denying the allegation, Smithesh said he was not aware of any such incident. “There had been only very usual discussions in the party’s parliamentary committee, held before the council,’’ he said.
In their letter, dated September 1, the councillors wrote: “Two of us were humiliated and were hurled [issued] death threats by the BJP Mandalam president and municipality standing committee chairman for health, P Smithesh. Even though we wrote to the party state organising secretary ( M Ganesan) and the party state president (K Surendran) regarding the issue, no action has been taken. Considering the gravity of the situation and understanding that party leaders in Kerala have not taken appropriate measures to correct such misbehaviour, we are compelled to appeal to your good self and your office to kindly intervene.”
“This episode also reflects the non-conducive environment for diligent women BJP workers to freely express their thoughts and progressive ideas…” they wrote.
Sources in BJP said its state leaders had intervened in the issue and at their behest, Smithesh expressed regret over the incident after Prameela and Mini Krishna approached the central leadership. The complainants were not present at the meeting at the time, they said.
But Prameela, a former chairperson of the municipality, said a regret from the councillor is not enough. “We have asked the party to take action against him,” she said. “The councillor, who has insulted and issued us death threats, should be sacked from the party, or removed as mandalam president.”
She said, “We are awaiting a favourable decision from the party. Otherwise we will complain to the police as well as the state women’s commission.”
Mini said: “The councillor threatened to assault me and my husband, C Krishna Kumar. We are awaiting the party (leadership’s) decision.”
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