Kerala Transport Minister AK Saseendran on Sunday resigned from his post after a local television channel broadcast an audio clip, in which a man could purportedly be heard speaking inappropriately with a woman. The channel has alleged that it was Saseendran’s voice in the clip, according to The News Minute.
Saseendran has dismissed the charges as “absolutely baseless” and said he had “resigned on moral grounds”. “It is up to the chief minister [Pinarayi Vijayan] and the government to investigate the matter, and they can look into it with any agency,” he added.
Malayalam channel Mangalam was launched on Sunday and released the “leaked” clip as their first bulletin. It has alleged that Saseendran had called the woman and sought sexual favours from her after she had asked him for help.
The audio clip, in which a man can be heard being lewd, is quite unclear, and the channel did not broadcast the voice on the other end.
Saseendran announced his resignation at a press conference on Sunday. The MLA from Elathoor told reporters in Kozhikode that he was stepping down not because he was guilty, but “to safeguard the integrity of the government and his party”. “The party has a moral responsibility. Neither the government, nor the party will have to hang its head in shame because of me,” the Left Democratic Front leader said.
While the Nationalist Congress Party member has emphasised that the chief minister had not asked him to resign, Vijayan said he believed that these were “serious” allegations and will come to decision after “examining all facts”, NDTV reported.
With his resignation, Saseendran became the second Kerala Cabinet minister to step down from his role. In October 2016, state Industries Minister EP Jayarajan had quit after being accused of nepotism.