CPM politburo okays Ritabrata ouster
Kolkata: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) politburo, the party’s highest decision-making body, has approved expulsion of Rajya Sabha MP Ritabrata Banerjee from the party.
Party state secretary Surjyakanta Mishra, in a statement issued on Friday, said the party had recommended the expulsion of Banerjee to the politburo, which has been approved.
His expulsion came after he levelled serious allegations against party MP Md Salim and other senior leaders including Prakash Karat and Brinda Karat in a television interview. He had said that Salim could become a politburo member only because there was a quota for Muslims. He also alleged that the third term of party general secretary Sitaram Yechury was opposed by Prakash and Brinda Karat ‘out of sheer jealousy’.
Banerjee had been reprimanded and warned within the party openly in February for breaking the discipline of the party. Later, following several other serious allegations, party had suspended him for three months on June 2. “A three-member committee was formed to probe into the allegations against Banerjee. He had been given an opportunity to defend himself. The commission in its report had held him guilty,” the statement read. It also said that though Banerjee had been asked to mend ways, he failed to do so. On August 7, he was expelled from the party’s state committee. His case was brought before the central committee of the party and disciplinary action was awaited when he gave the interview to the private news channel.
Banerjee’s expulsion has triggered speculations about his next move. BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha, told DNA, “Banerjee has to decide what he wants to do. If he intends to join the BJP, he should spell it out in clear terms and we will well consider it.”
Ritabrata Banerjee, MP, Rajya Sabha