In a dramatic move, Jose Thettayil MLA who was on a seventeen day ‘hiding’ after a woman raised sexual harassment charges against him, appeared before the public on Wednesday and declared that he will not quit as MLA.
Ruling out speculations about his hiding, Thettayil said that he was victim of a major political conspiracy involving senior leaders of the ruling front.
After mediapersons waited for a long time, gathered at railway stations, Thettayil finally came to meet senior advocate M K Damodaran, who appeared for Thettayil before the High Court, at the latter’s house in Kochi at around 6.45 pm. Thettayil was accompanied by CPM Angamaly area secretary T J Varghese, senior advocate Gracious Kuriakose, advocate Nandagopal Nambiar and Janata Dal district leaders.
Speaking to journalists at Damodaran’s house, Thettayil reiterated that he is a victim of a shrewd political conspiracy hatched by certain forces. “I have told everything before court. I trust the rule of the law in the country. Since the case is pending before the High Court, it will be subjudice to comment about the intricacies of the case”, he said.
He admitted that he knew the woman who filed the sexual harassment case. “The woman and her family are the voters in my constituency. I know the woman as well as her family”, he said. However he denied that he had approached the woman with a marriage proposal for his son. When asked about the differences of opinion within the LDF about his resignation, Thettayil said the issue was widely discussed within the party and the LDF. “I will respect the decision taken by LDF and my party”, he said. Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan and the CPI had recorded dissident views about the resignation controversy.
“I don’t think I have committed a mistake. Hence, I am not resigning my MLA post or from public life. I will be there with the people of Angamaly. I will fight the case legally”, he said. T J Varghese said that Thettayil was not absconding. “Thettayil was very much present in his constituency. On June 26, he had come to my house in Angamaly”, he said. T J Varghese also added that a minister hailing from the district was actively involved in the conspiracy.