Monday, Nov 20, 2017 | Last Update : 07:25 AM IST

West Bengal CPM for MP’s expulsion after TV tirade

THE ASIAN AGE. | RAJIB CHOWDHURI
Published : Sep 14, 2017, 6:51 am IST
Updated : Sep 14, 2017, 6:51 am IST

Mr Banerjee has been under the scanner following complaints of wealth disproportionate to his income, his lavish lifestyle and multiple affairs.

Ritabrata Banerjee
 Ritabrata Banerjee

Kolkata: The CPI(M)’s West Bengal unit has recommended the expulsion of its suspended Rajya Sabha MP, Ritabrata Banerjee, to the party’s central committee for his “indiscipline”. The move comes close on the heels of his salvo against top party leaders earlier this week. 

Mr Banerjee has been under the scanner following complaints of wealth disproportionate to his income, his lavish lifestyle and multiple affairs.

On Wednesday, CPI(M) state secretariat members met at the party’s Alimuddin Street state headquarters and took the decision on Mr Banerjee’s expulsion. Sources said a majority approved of the decision, with the exception of some senior leaders like Goutam Deb and Asok Bhattacharya, who felt the young MP should be dealt with more leniently.

The state secretariat’s recommendation will come up for discussion at the CPI(M) central committee meeting to be held in between October 14 and 16 in New Delhi, sources said. A CPI(M) state committee member from South 24 Parganas later said: “Our party has an organisational process according to which everything is happening. But all cannot be disclosed to the public now.”

The 38-year-old MP faced a three-member inquiry panel set up by the party over three complaints of his wealth being disproportionate to his income, lavish lifestyle and multiple relationships. In June, he was suspended from the party for three months. The probe, led by CPI(M) Lok Sabha MP Mohammed Salim, with two central committee members Madan Ghosh and Mridul De, found merit in the complaints.

In its inquiry report submitted to the party in August, the panel recommended Mr Banerjee’s removal from the party’s West Bengal state committee. This is now pending with the CPI(M) central committee. But what perhaps prompted the CPI(M) state secretariat to seek Mr Banerjee’s expulsion was his explosive interview in a mood of rebellion on September 11 evening to a Bengali news channel.

In the interview he was seen making wild allegations against the party’s top leaders — Prakash Karat, his wife Brinda Karat and Mr Salim. Launching a tirade against the Karat couple, the suspended CPI(M) MP alleged most of the CPI(M) central leadership were against Bengalis. He argued that in 1996, former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu could not become Prime Minister because of these elements.

Mr Banerjee also spewed venom against Mr Salim, claiming that he and his son had spread canards against him. “Ahead of an inquiry, I faced suspension. The inquiry commission led by Mr Salim was like a kangaroo court. Mr Salim has been elected to the politburo thanks to a quota in it for Muslims. How can a Communist Party offer a quota for Muslims or for female members?” Mr Banerjee wondered.

He had added: “Assuming some steps (may be taken) against me by Mr Salim and the two other members of the inquiry panel, I secretly filmed the entire inquiry proceedings, held behind closed doors.” According to Mr Banerjee, the inquiry panel illegally accessed his bank account and took its statement, that was shown to him during his appearance over the allegations of weath disproportionate to his income.

He said: “I would have been glad to provide them to the party if I was asked to submit details of my bank transactions. I have complained to Union finance minister Arun Jaitley about it. I will also lodge a complaint at the cyber crime wing of Kolkata Police soon.” His charges didn’t go down well with the state leadership, which found his comments “anti-party”.

Tags: ritabrata banerjee, cyber crime, asok bhattacharya
Location: India, West Bengal, Calcutta [Kolkata]