Janata Dal (Secular) legislator Jose Thettayil, accused of sexual misdemeanour, will not resign for now.

The Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) State committee, which met here on Tuesday, chose not to seek Mr. Thettayil’s resignation. The LDF leadership has resolved to wait for the conclusion of the ongoing investigation into the allegation that he had sexually exploited a woman with the offer to get her married to his son.

Only brief reference

The LDF panel did not discuss the issue in detail and there was only a brief reference to the issue at the beginning of the meeting. A JD(S) leadership meeting, held a little earlier, had taken the position that there was no need for Mr. Thettayil, representing the Angamaly constituency, to resign his membership of the Assembly. The meeting’s decision was to give ‘moral and political’ support to Mr. Thettayil.

During their informal consultations after the visuals-backed allegations burst on the news scene, LDF leaders had taken the position that it would be better for Mr. Thettayil to resign. Among those who took this position was Communist Party of India State secretary Pannian Ravindran, Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, and RSP leader N.K. Premachandran. However, they had left it to the JD(S) leadership to take a final call on the issue.

The ultimate decision, it appears, was founded on the position taken by the JD(S) leadership, coupled with the LDF leaders’ collective assessment about the possibility of the alliance being forced to face what could easily be a difficult by-election in the Angamaly Assembly constituency.

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