Yechuri-Karat differences on sexual harassment complaint

Yechuri-Karat differences on sexual harassment complaint

Agency News

Thiruvananthapuram, Sept 04: A sexual harassment complaint by a woman who is also a communist party worker against a CPI(M) MLA has rocked the CPI(M) in Kerala with the former Party General Secretary Prakash Karat and the current General Secretary Sitaram Yechury locking horns over the issue.

While CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury admitted that he has got a complaint regarding the sexual harassment against party Shoranur MLA, Sasi, and that the complaint was forwarded to the Kerala unit hinting about an enquiry by a committee. CPI(M) Politburo member Prakash Karat said that he is unaware of such a complaint. However later sources close to the CPIM Politburo, which Karat enjoys majority, said that such matters are dealt with by the State Unit of the party ruling out appointment of any committee.

Backing Sitaram Yechury, CPIM Kerala State Secretary, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan clarified that the party has got a complaint against the Shornur MLA PK Sasi on sexual harassment. “We have got a complaint against Sasi three weeks back. The proceedings on the complaint have begun,” said Kodiyeri. “The woman did not approach the police as the issue should be solved within the party machinery,” Kodiyeri added.

Earlier, CPIM Palakkad District Secretary Rajendran also echoed the opinion of Karat that no complaint was received. The constituency of the controversial MLA PK Sasi belongs to the Palakkad district. Yechuri admitting the receipt of a complaint and recommending action to the State Committee within few days of chief minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, going to USA for treatment has led to speculations of differences in the top forum of the party.

At the same time, DYFI's youth leader Swaraj said that there was no complaint received by DYFI. In order to make a clarification on the issue, DYFI leaders M. Swaraj MLA and AN Shamseer met and discussed this with Kodiyeri Balakrishnan at AKG Centre. A.K. Balan and KN Balagopalan have also accompanied them for the discussion.

The complainant claimed that she had given a complaint to both Women Politburo member, Brinda Karat and CPI (M) State Secretary against P.K. Sasi MLA. Complainant also tried to reach some of prominent party leaders in the state. As there was no action taken, the woman had sent a complaint to Sitaram Yechury via e-mail. Sources close to CPI(M) circles said that she had also attached a voice clip of the MLA’s sleazy talk along with the mail.