Kerala

Saseendran issue: NCP sees plot to unsettle govt.

On Monday, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) strongly suggested that the allegation that Forest Minister A.K. Saseendran had attempted to shield an alleged sex offender from prosecution smacked of a well-entrenched conspiracy to unsettle the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government.

By some accounts, the Kollam police have also reportedly raised a similar doubt in a confidential communique to the State Police Chief. An official said the development could be the precursor of a more detailed probe.

NCP State president P.C. Chacko said the party was yet to get to the bottom of the plot. An enquiry was on at multiple levels. Mr. Saseendran had intervened in the issue believing it to be essentially an intra-party dispute. However, the so-called survivor’s father, an NCP worker, had recorded the Minister’s telephone call and leaked it to the media. The worker also claimed that Mr. Saseendran had persuaded him to prevail on his daughter, a BJP activist, to withdraw her complaint against her alleged aggressor, an influential NCP leader at Kundara in Kollam.

Many suspended

For now, the NCP has suspended a slew of party members suspected to have some role or other in the scandal. They include NCP State working committee member Padmakaran, NCP trade union leader Rajeev, NCP Kundara block panchayat president Benedict, NCP State committee member Pradeep, NCP women’s wing State vice-president Hani Vitto and NCP youth wing district president Biju.

The NCP felt Mr. Saseendran had done no wrong. However, it counselled him to be cautious in his public dealings in the future.

Code of conduct

The NCP also formulated a code of conduct for party members. For one, regional and district leaders should make official demands to the Minister only via the State committee. The State committee would act as the liaison between the party and the government.

Mr. Chacko said the NCP would open offices in all the 140 Assembly constituencies in the State. It would modernise its district committee offices. Persons involved in criminal cases would have no place in the NCP. The party would organise leadership classes for its cadres. Moreover, it would issue membership digitally.


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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 3:49:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/saseendran-issue-ncp-sees-plot-to-unsettle-govt/article35545441.ece

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