The state committee of CPI(M) has approved the reinstatement of MLA PK Sasi who had been suspended after being accused of sexual harassment. This decision comes after a recommendation by a central team to the district committee which also cleared the decks for his return. On Thursday, the state committee of CPM accepted the report to revoke the MLA's suspension.
In November 2018, PK Sasi had been suspended for a period of six months after an internal two-member committee had found him guilty of sexual harassment. A complaint of making sexual overtures in a telephonic conversation was filed with the office-bearers of CPM Kerala unit. After a two-member team led by central committee member A K Balan had investigated the allegations and in November, submitted a report which held him guilty of the charges. Basis the report Sasi had been stripped of his primary membership of the party and suspended for a period of six months.
The complainant, however, has refrained from filing a police case after she had decided to take up the matter only within the party. Post the disciplinary action expired in May this year, clamour within the party was growing for his return. The Palakkad district committee made way for his homecoming and have even inducted him into the district committee. It has been confirmed that Sasi will be taking part in the Palakkad committee meeting slated to take place later this week.
The complainant who has chosen to be anonymous so far quit DYFI close to three months ago alleging that supporters of Sasi had been targeting her and those who had stood by her side. Alleging that the politburo did not act on her multiple complaints, the complainant has resigned from her membership of Palakkad district unit. The issue of bringing back Sasi had divided the state and district units of CPI(M), thus causing a delay since the expiry of his suspension in May. It is learnt that leaders like MB Rajesh, TK Narayanadas and M Chandran have been strongly raising objections to the return of Sasi, citing the image of the party and safety of other women members who may feel endangered.
The opposition parties in Kerala, Congress and BJP have hit out at the ruling CPI(M) calling their stand on women’s rights a farce. Saying that the party’s stand in Sasi’s case exposes the hypocrisy of the CPI(M), BJP district unit’s women’s wing is deliberating staging a protest to show solidarity with the complainant.