Sexual abuse complaint against Kerala MLA divides CPM leadership

September 5, 2018

A woman leader of the CPM’s youth wing, Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), has accused a party MLA from Kerala of sexual abuse. The issue has divided the party’s central leadership again, with general secretary Sitaram Yechury and the party politburo on a collision course.

Sources said the woman had approached the district and state leaderships of the CPM and DYFI last month accusing Shornur MLA P K Sasi of trying to sexually abuse her at the party’s area committee office at Manarcaud in Palakkad, but there had been no action against the MLA by the party so far.

A complaint had also been sent to CPM politburo member Brinda Karat on August 14, sources in the party said. The woman then approached Yechury on Monday, sources said. Yechury confirmed on Tuesday that he had received the complaint and forwarded it to the Kerala state committee.

“As soon as I received it, it was sent to the Kerala state committee. They have initiated the process of inquiring into it. That is our normal practice,” he told reporters. He said he received the complaint on Monday. “Then it has been sent there. They will look into it. It will be acted upon. The process is on.” “I don’t know,” was Yechury’s predecessor Prakash Karat’s reply to questions around the same time. Yechury also said the state unit would send a report.

It was not clear whether Brinda Karat had forwarded the complaint to the Kerala unit, reached out to the victim or discussed it with her colleagues in Delhi and Thiruvananthapuram. Yechury’s public acceptance of the receipt of the complaint, however, upset some politburo members.

Soon the politburo came out with a statement. “Some media reports have appeared that on a complaint from Kerala regarding an elected representative, the Party Centre has intervened and given direction on the action to be taken. There has been no such intervention from the Centre and this is a baseless report,” it said, virtually contradicting Yechury’s statement that he had forwarded the complaint to the state unit and they had initiated a process of inquiry.
“All such complaints, as is the normal practice, will be dealt with by the concerned state committee; in this instance, the Kerala State Committee,” the politburo added in the terse statement.

Kerala CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan then told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram that the party had received the complaint three weeks ago but did not divulge what action the party has taken. He merely said appropriate steps were being initiated.

On whether the complaint would be handed to the police, he said it had been sent to the party and not to the police.
She said the woman could have approached the police if she wanted.

Sasi, a first-time legislator, called the complaint a “well-planned conspiracy” to malign him. “The party hasn’t intimated me about such a complaint. It is a well-planned conspiracy to destroy me politically.,” he said. Meanwhile, BJP state general secretary K Surendran said Brinda Karat should have handed the complaint to the police.

Source : Indian Express

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