New Delhi: The Communist Party of India’s (Marxist) central committee has approved the party state unit’s disciplinary action against MLA PK Sasi.

The CPI(M) state committee had suspended Sasi from the party following a sexual abuse complaint lodged against him by a woman leader of Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI). The decision was taken in the state committee meeting on November 26.

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As per the party by-law, the suspension is the most serious action that can be taken against a party member. Sasi has been suspended for six months. Sasi is no longer a member of the party as his membership has been cancelled.

The DYFI woman leader had complained about sexual harassment against CPI(M) MLA (Shoranur) Sasi in early September. The complaint letter was submitted to CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury. The letter stated that Sasi tried to grab her after calling her to the committee office in Mannarkad.

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Sasi was suspended on the basis of the report submitted by the party leaders PK Sreemathy and AK Balan who were appointed to investigate the complaint. The report said that Sasi made obscene phone calls to the woman. However, he clarified that a sexual misconduct has not occurred.

The Administrative Reform Commission chairman VS Achuthanandan was unhappy with the delayed action against Sasi. He had also expressed his concerns in appointing Sasi as the ‘march captain’ of the party.

Earlier, Kerala Women's Commission chairperson MC Josephine defended Sasi in the sexual abuse case.

“This is nothing new... We are all human beings, and mistakes do happen. The people inside the party too may also have committed such mistakes,” she said.

She added, "The Marxist party will have its own system of dealing with these complaints, it's not a new thing. Since its inception, the party has handled such complaints.”

The legislator had defended himself saying, “I know that I have not committed any crime. However, if the party is convinced that I have made a mistake, then I am ready to accept any punishment.”

He also said the party conducts an investigation when a complaint is received against any member of the party and that is the standard procedure.