The CPI(M) Monday suspended party legislator from Kerala, P K Sasi, from primary membership of the party for six months following a probe into a complaint that he had misbehaved with a woman leader of the Democratic Youth
Federation of India (DYFI), the party’s youth wing.
Sasi represents Shornur constituency of Palakkad district in the Kerala Assembly.
The decision was based on a probe conducted by CPI(M) central committee members P K Sreemathi and A K Balan. An official communication from the party stated that the state committee has suspended Sasi from primary membership of the party for six months.
It was found that Sasi spoke to a party worker in a “manner unbecoming of a leader”, the CPI(M) stated.
Sasi said that as a disciplined worker of the CPI(M) he will accept any action from the party. The woman leader did not react to the party’s action against the MLA.
Sreemathi, the MP from Kannur who was on the probe panel, said, “The probe into the allegation was very effective. I don’t think the woman will approach the police — she has now got justice. There were some lapses on Sasi’s part. A party leader has to speak to women in a decent manner, but there were certain things Sasi said which were totally unexpected from a leader.”
Thus, she said, the party recommended action against him. “No other party has the courage to take such a stringent action (against a top leader),” she said.
The incident took place last year during the party’s Palakkad district conference at Mannarkkad. The victim took up the matter with the DYFI district leadership but did not get any relief. She subsequently approached the CPI(M) central leadership, which, in September this year, directed the state unit to conduct an internal probe into the complaint.
In Kerala, the CPI(M), the leading partner in ruling LDF, has drawn criticism from opposition parties for what they have termed an attempt to suppress a sexual harassment complaint. Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala of the Congress, said the police should register a case against Sasi since the CPI(M)-appointed probe panel found him guilty. “It is the police’s job to probe sexual harassment (cases). The party probe is a challenge to the rule of law,” he said.
BJP state chief P S Sreedharan Pillai also said Sasi should be tried legally. “The CPI(M)’s approach to cover up sexual misconduct as a party affair is a challenge to the Constitution,” Pillai said.