Kerala: Transport Minister Saseendran resigns over alleged sleaze talks with a woman on phone
Kozhikode : Kerala Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran resigned on Sunday after an audio emerged in which he is heard having a lewd conversation with a woman on phone.
A five-time Nationalist Congress Party legislator, the minister announced the resignation at a hurriedly-called press conference here. The audio was released by Mangalam TV.
But the politician maintained he had done no wrong. "I always behave with everyone very politely," Saseendran said.
"The need of the hour in the wake of this particular news report is not to look into the merits of the case but uphold the morality of my party, government and myself. Hence, I am stepping down.
"I am ready to face any probe by any agency and I have no complaints against anyone."
Asked if he smelt a conspiracy, Saseendran said this has to be established in an investigation.
"I did not want to cling on to this post on technical grounds because then the complaint would have come that a fair probe can't happen. I don't wish to hear that and hence decided to quit," he added.
Earlier, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the media that he had taken the TV report seriously and promised action.
Saseendran is the second minister to resign since the Left Democratic Front (LDF) took power in Kerala last year.
Last year, CPI-M strongman and Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan quit on charges of nepotism.