The CPI(M) on Monday has suspended MLA PK Sasi for six months over the complaint of sexual harassment filed against him by a party colleague. The complainant, a DYFI leader, had accused PK Sasi of sexually harassing her, calling her up often and speaking to her in an innuendo-laden tone.
The party‚Äôs decision comes after several meetings of the commission probing the allegations against the MLA and the top leadership of the party were held in Thiruvananthapuram. The party was forced to take a stand as the woman had written to senior women leaders expressing her disappointment.
The Left party‚Äôs action assumes further significance as the 13th session of the Kerala Assembly is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, November 27.
According to reports, Sasi has stated that he will accept the party‚Äôs decision. ‚ÄúThe party is part of my life, I will accept the party‚Äôs decision with open arms,‚ÄĚ he told Asianet News.
The complaint against him was filed by a woman worker of the Democratic Youth Federation, the youth wing of the CPI(M), in August. The complainant had also attached the audio clips of the conversations she had with the MLA, where the MLA allegedly used lewd language, in her complaint.
After the woman‚Äôs complaint, the CPI(M) had appointed a commission to probe into the allegations. Minister AK Balan and MP PK Sreemathy were members of the committee. The party said it has taken note of the MLA's 'misbehaviour' and hence have taken the action.
In the report, the Communist Party of India-Marxist communique said the Shornur legislator had not ‚Äėbehaved befitting his stature and position‚Äô while speaking to the woman and hence the action was being taken. After the Congress and the BJP cried foul, Sreemathi told the media that the probe conducted was proper. "We found out that there was merit in her complaint and the party has taken the action," she said.
"I don't think she will approach the police as she has full faith in our party," Sreemathi added.
The party had received flak after Sasi led a march in Palakkad, while party decision on the sexual harassment complaint was still pending.
Meanwhile, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala has demanded that the police file a case suo motu against PK Sasi since the party has found him guilty.
"It is not the party that should decide punishment on a sexual harassment case, it is the police and court. In a state that abides by the rule of law, that is what should happen. The party's decision is a mere eyewash. After six months of suspension, Sasi will be back as a powerful leader," Chennithala said.
State BJP chief P. Sreedharan Pillai asked: "Who are they to conduct a probe and declare punishment in a case of this nature? We have all the required machinery -- the police and the court -- and no time should be lost. The party should immediately report it to the police."