In a huge embarrassment to the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front government in Kerala, transport minister A K Saseendran (NCP) resigned on Sunday after allegations of misconduct with a woman surfaced against him.
Announcing his decision at a press conference at the government guest house here, the 71 year old minister who is a five- time legislator belonging to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) however denied the allegations and said that he was ready to face to face probe by any agency.
“The news aired by the channel is incorrect and I have no connection with it. However I am resigning to uphold morality in politics which our party and political front have always tried to uphold. I have urged the CM to institute a thorough probe into the incident,” said Saseendran.
Pointing out that he had not behaved in an improper manner with anyone, Saseendran said he was prepared to face any probe.
“A proper investigation is needed. All facts should come”, he said, adding he welcomed any probe.
“My stand is I have not done anything wrong. I am denying the allegation and welcome any probe”, he said.
Mr Saseendran is the second minister after E P Jayarajan, former Industries minister, to quit the 10-month-old Vijayan cabinet. This is the second blow to the 10th month CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala after the resignation of Jayarajan over charges of nepotism for appointing two of his close relatives to top position in state PSUs.
The development comes at a time when the Malappuram bypoll is to be held on April 12.
As soon as media reports surfaced, Saseendran cancelled all his public programmes at Kozhikode and remained indoors at the government guest house.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, said he viewed the allegations ‘seriously’. “After examining all facts, a decision will be taken,” he said. Mr Vijayan said the minister had spoken to him.
Opposition leader in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala said the Chief Minister should conduct a probe and if the minister is guilty, he should be asked to resign. “The truth needs to come out. The report has shocked everyone,” Mr Chennithala told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.