In an audio clipping of a call between Minister Saseendran and the woman’s father, the former asks for an amicable compromise.

Saseendran wearing his white shirt and mundu walks on a road filled with greenery on either sideMinister AK Saseendran
news Controversy Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - 17:30

A day after the intervention of Kerala Minister AK Saseendran in a harassment case in Kundara created a controversy, the woman complainant questioned the Chief Minister’s stand in ‘supporting the accused Minister’. The woman who had alleged in her complaint that Saseendran tried to bring the issue to an amicable compromise asked if the Minister would react in the same manner if a daughter of his was harassed. In her complaint at the Kundara police station in Kollam, the woman alleged that a leader of Saseendran’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), G Padmakaran, humiliated her in social media and grabbed her hand.

“It is not an action befitting someone in a Minister’s position. Will he act like this if it happened to a daughter of his? Will he be ready to ask for an amicable compromise if it was for his daughter?” the woman asks reporters during a brief interaction with the media.

The woman, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), also questioned the stand taken by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan alleging that he was taking the side of Saseendran. The CM has not yet spoken about the incident after an audio clipping of a call recording between Minister Saseendran and the woman’s father came out. In the call the Minister allegedly asks the woman’s father – also an NCP member -- to resolve the matters amicably while the father asks how this can be done. Minister Saseendran later admitted that he did make such a call to settle the problem since both people were members of his party, but he claimed that he did not know it was a case of harassment.

Watch: Kundara complainant speaks to media

“Even as the CM speaks about women empowerment in Kerala, he took a stand to support his Minister. So the message he gives is, if something like this happens again tomorrow, you need to expect only the same reaction. Only so much can be done in Kerala and only so much protection will be given to women, that is the message,” the woman alleges even as a reporter points out that the CM has not yet spoken about the incident.

The woman however adds that she was very disappointed because it was not what she expected of the CM.

The woman, who was a candidate of the BJP in the Kerala local body polls last December, added that Minister Saseendran has to resign. 

NCP leaders back Saseendran, Congress seeks his resignation

Senior NCP leaders on Wednesday said they presently do not think any illegality has been committed by Minister Saseendran, even as the Congress continued to demand his resignation and the CPI(M) said it does not have the complete details.

Meanwhile, Saseendran met Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at his official residence.

After the meeting, he told the media that he informed the Chief Minister about the entire issue and his role in the matter and the CM heard him out. Saseendran, however, did not say what the Chief Minister's response was.

A Vijayaraghavan, the convener of Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala and the Secretary of CPI(M) Kerala State Committee, said his party or the state government has not taken a decision yet as they do not have the complete details regarding the matter.

Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan reiterated his demand for Saseendran's resignation and said if he does not resign, the Chief Minister should remove him.

(With PTI input)

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