CPM polit­buro okays Ritabrata ouster

DNA (Delhi) - - INDIA - Ar­shad Ali ar­shad.ali@dnain­dia.net

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

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