C Times, 15 Sep. 17, Agartala
Ritabrata Banerjee, CPI-M Rajya Sabha MP has been formally expelled from the party for anti-party activities. The Politburo of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) gave its nod to the recommendation of the West Bengal State Secretariat, seeking Banerjee’s expulsion for breach of party discipline.
A statement released by politburo member and party’s West Bengal State Committee secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said that despite being warned and even suspended for his acts, the MP had failed to mend his ways and continued to tarnish the image of the party. “Repeated efforts allowing him to correct himself failed. He continued tarnishing the image of the party”, the statement said.
On Wednesday, CPI-M Bengal State Secretariat had recommended Banerjee’s expulsion and a final decision was pending before the party’s central leadership. While the Central Committee was scheduled to meet on October 14 in Delhi to discuss the matter, in an emergency move, the Politburo gave its nod to the decision on Friday itself.
In June, Banerjee had been suspended for three months pending inquiry over allegations of “lavish lifestyle” and misconduct after images of him sporting a Mont Blanc pen and an Apple smart watch went viral on social media. A three-member inquiry committee, headed by the party’s Lok Sabha MP Mohd Salim, was also constituted to investigate the matter.
However, with disciplinary action imminent, Banerjee had spoken out against the party’s central leadership, including former General Secretary Prakash Karat and politburo members Brinda Karat and Md Salim.
“Someone had to bell the cat. And I decided to tell it”, Banerjee had tweeted on Wednesday. “Party is mine, the party is yours, the party doesn’t belong to one,” the MP lashed out on social media.
The 38-year-old parliamentarian had accused Karat of stonewalling re-nomination of party general secretary Sitaram Yechury to the Rajya Sabha for a third consecutive term.