The West Bengal state committee of CPI(M) has recommended the expulsion of suspended party member and Rajya Sabha MP Ritabrata Banerjee. Banerjee is the only Rajya Sabha member of the CPI(M) from West Bengal now.
The politburo will meet next week to approve the decision of the Bengal state committee since Banerjee is an MP. “Had he not been an MP, the state committee’s decision would have been final,” said a senior secretariat member of the party.
Banerjee recently lambasted Prakash Karat and his wife Brinda Karat and accused them of “leading an anti-Bengal brigade in the party’s central committee and politburo”. Four months back Banerjee was suspended for leaking information about party to media. He had given an interview to a regional television channel, where he levelled many allegations against senior leaders of the party. Fingers were also pointed at his lavish lifestyle.
A three-member committee led by politburo member Mohammed Salim was formed to inquire about the allegations against Banerjee. Banerjee said he was summoned by the inquiry committee but was not given any chance to defend himself. He termed Selim as a leader of the Muslim quota in politburo.
“I am sorry to say there is a Muslim quota in the politburo and Mohammed Salim represents that,” said Banerjee.
Banerjee said he was hurt by the party's decision to expel him. “I have devoted so much time to the party. But all went in vain,” he said.
Banerjee, a former SFI national secretary, refused to say whether he would join the Trinamool Congress or BJP. “I have not yet decided on my future course of action,” he said.
Sources said Banerjee is close to both the parties today. He had met Arun Jaitley in Delhi several times before addressing the media few days back. However, a source said he was also in touch with Trinamool Congress general secretary Subrata Bakshi.
Sources in the party has said that leaders like Gautam Deb, Sujan Charaborty and Ashok Bhattacharya tried to prevent the state leadership from taking severe action against Banerjee.
Amid huge uproar, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee intervened and gave his opinion in favour of the expulsion of Banerjee. Banerjee was sent to Rajya Sabha at the insistence of Buddhadeb and is known to be a disciple of Buddhadeb and Deb.
Deb refused to comment on the issue saying the party’s secretary would make any comment on the issue.
Surya Kanta Mishara, Bengal’s CPM secretary, however, refused to make any comment as well.