The CPI(M)’s Rajya Sabha MP Ritabrata Banerjee is likely to face disciplinary action after admitting to threatening a “party supporter” who had questioned the source of the parliamentarian’s costly Apple watch and Mont Blanc pen.
Banerjee, 37, admitted before the party’s Bengal state secretariat on Wednesday that he made a mistake by writing to the employer of the man who posted a photograph of the MP on social media.
Banerjee claimed he was being stalked on social media by a group that included CPI(M) supporters and members and referred to some Facebook posts as evidence.
Sources said the party is likely to will take disciplinary action against the MP on Thursday in presence of general secretary Sitaram Yechury who came down from Delhi to oversee the proceedings at the two-day meet of the Bengal state committee that began on Wednesday.
“Though a section of leaders are baying for his blood, I have a feeling that Ritabrata will be let off with a strong warning,” a senior state committee member told HT.
Although the Apple-Mont Blanc controversy was supposed to have been discussed by the state committee -- the largest and highest state-level body -- Bengal secretariat members didn’t allow that in a bid to stop mudslinging and a possible showdown between the old guard and younger members.
Former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who was instrumental in sending Banerjee to the Rajya Sabha in 2014, was present at Alimuddin Street till almost 9 pm and was the last person to leave the party office. “Buddhababu is quite annoyed with what is happening,” said a state committee member.
Banerjee earned the wrath of party leaders for sending an email to the human resource cell of a “Bangalore-based start-up company” where his critic, Sumit Talukdar, reportedly works.
Talukdar had posted photos of Banerjee watching an East Bengal- Mohun Bagan soccer match in Siliguri on February 12.
Graphically pointing to a pen jutting out of Banerjee’s pocket and his wrist watch, Talukdar asked how could a CPI-M MP, who got a monthly wage of Rs 6000 from the party for being a whole-time member, afford such expensive items that cost around Rs 80,000. The post even mentioned the specific model of the Mont Blanc. Talukdar later deleted the post. But by then it had gone viral.