The Kerala unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has said it will investigate allegations of sexual harassment made by a woman against its legislator PK Sasi, ANI reported. The party has denied reports that the state unit started looking into the matter following intervention by the central unit.

Earlier in the day, the Hindustan Times reported that CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury had confirmed receiving the complaint from the woman, who is a leader of the Democratic Youth Federation of India, the party’s youth wing. He said he had forwarded the complaint to the state unit for necessary action.

Later, the party’s politburo told ANI: “Reports that the central committee has intervened is baseless. As is normal practice, it will be dealt with by the concerned state committee.”

The woman had reportedly approached the central leadership after the state leaders allegedly did not respond to her complaints. She alleged that Sasi tried to sexually abuse her at a party office and sought sexual favours for helping her get higher posts in the youth organisation, India Today reported. She claimed Sasi had harassed her for over a year.

“The allegations against the legislator are of serious nature,” an unidentified party leader told India Today. “Party will take appropriate action after the probe. Senior party leaders including a woman will probe the allegations.”

The party’s Palakkad district committee will meet on Tuesday to discuss the matter, according to the Hindustan Times.

Sasi, who is an MLA from Shornur in Palakkad district, has denied the allegations. “I have no idea how such allegations cropped up,” he was quoted as saying. “It seems there is a conspiracy to end my political career.”