Solar scam-accused Sarita S. Nair says the Congress MLA had sexually harassed her

AP Abdullakutty, a two-time CPI (M) MP and then Congress MLA from the Communist bastion of Kerala’s Kannur district, has a nickname: Atbudakutty (wonder kid).

And his political career has proved his nickname. At the age of 31, Abdulllakutty was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Kannur constituency in 1999 on a CPI (M) ticket and was re-elected in 2004. But he fell out with the party leadership after he made favourable remarks about Narendra Modi in January 2009; in March he was expelled from CPI (M). But the Congress Party welcomed him with open arms and in the November 2009 by-election from Kannur, Abdullakutty was elected to the Kerala Assembly.

The Congress fielded the former Communist again in the 2011 Assembly election, and he won the seat again.

Late-night obscene calls

But the ‘wonder kid’ is now in real soup. On Monday, the police booked him for alleged sexual harassment.

A couple of days before, Sarita S. Nair, one of the prime accused in the ‘solar scam’ which shook Kerala politics for months on end, alleged that the MLA used to send her obscene late-night text messages. In a two-part television interview early this week, which covered her rollercoaster life, Sarita alleged that Abdullakutty had several times invited her to meet him at a well-known hotel, but she had turned them down. In the police complaint, however, Sarita alleged that Abdullakutty had tried to sexually assault her.

Sarita, who had been in judicial custody for three months until last week for her role in the solar scam, told the TV interviewer that she would tackle her tormentors one by one. She, however, gave clean chits to a Union Minister of State from Kerala and a film-actor-turned MLA who too had been linked to her. Abdullakutty told Business Line on Tuesday that he had never seen Sarita, though he did not deny having talked to her on the phone. “As a politician, you get scores of calls each day,” he said. He wondered why Sarita had not mentioned his name all this while though she had mentioned several names before. He said he would legally prove that Sarita’s allegation, which he said was aimed to damage him politically, was false.

However, Sarita’s allegation of sexual assault against the Congress MLA is unlikely to have much impact on the Congress electoral campaign. First, Abdullakutty is not in the electoral race; second, he is not a front-row leader of the party; and third, Sarita, who has admitted to using her political connections to achieve her ends, carries little credibility in the public mind.

But Sarita’s allegation will most likely leave scars on the wonder kid’s political career.

(This article was published on March 11, 2014)
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