Bengal CPI(M) recommends expulsion of Ritabrata Banerjee, MP says feels like being 'severed from family'

Ritabrata Banerjee all set to be expelled from CPI(M).

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Bengal CPI(M) recommends expulsion of Ritabrata Banerjee, MP says feels like being 'severed from family'
Ritabrata Banerjee

CPI(M) West Bengal state secretariat on Wednesday decided to expel party Rajya Sabha MP  Ritabrata Banerjee from the party as a disciplinary action. A recommendation for the same has been sent to the party’s central committee.

The decision came two days after the 38-year-old Banerjee had, in an interview given to a private news channel, levelled several allegations against politburo members, state and central leaders of the party. In the interview he said that central leaders and politburo members such as Prakash Karat and Brinda Karat had prevented the third term of party general secretary Sitaram Yechury as the Rajya Sabha member. He said that it was prevented out of sheer jealousy.

He also alleged that party MP Md Salim became the politburo member because the highest body of the party had a quota for Muslims. He said that Salim along with his son had waged a campaign against him on social media ever since he was nominated as the Rajya Sabha member from the party.

After expulsion, an emotional Banerjee said, “Someone had to bell the cat and so I did. Someone had to speak up, I took the initiatives. I knew I could be facing consequences like this. The feeling at the moment is inexplicable. It is like being severed from a family.”

He said that he had not been informed officially about his expulsion from the party to which he had been associated with for two decades. He maintained that his complaint was not against the party but against senior members such as Md Salim, Brinda Karat and Prakash Karat.

Party insiders said that after the interview was televised a step like this was inevitable. “Discipline within the party has always been a priority. We might have lost some elections but that doesn’t mean we will have to compromise on the discipline front. He had been found guilty of several offences. A three-member committee headed by Md Salim was looking into the complaints and had found him guilty of profligacy and having disproportionate wealth,” said a senior party member. He also said that the recommendation has been sent to the central committee of the party but since scheduled meeting of the committee is in October a decision regarding Banerjee’s expulsion is likely to be taken within a couple of days.

The last expelled leader from CPIM for making anti-party statements, Abdur Rezzak Mollah had joined TMC and at present is one of the Ministers of the Mamata Banerjee government. Banerjee too, sources said, had been approached by both the TMC and the BJP.

In February this year, Banerjee kicked off a controversy when he posted a picture of himself on a social media, sporting a Mont Blanc pen and an Apple Smart watch. A DYFI member had posted a comment asking how he could afford such expensive gadgets and later Banerjee had written to the employer of the person to get him fired. The incident had created a lot of stir much to the embarrassment of the party. Sources within the party said that Banerjee had been warned but he didn’t mend his ways.

On June 2, Banerjee was suspended from the party for three months for his lifestyle which was unlike a Communist leader, alleged romantic liaisons and for leaking party inside information to media. On August 8, he was removed from the state committee after the probing committee found him guilty of most of the charges.

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