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Somnath not keen on rejoining CPI-M

In the eye of storm over his refusal to quit LS Speaker's post, Somnath Chatterjee says he will retire at the end of his term and is not keen on rejoining the party which expelled him.

world Updated: Aug 08, 2008 17:53 IST

In the eye of storm over his refusal to quit, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Friday said he will retire at the end of his term and was not keen on rejoining CPI(M) which expelled him recently.

"I was very proud to be a party member. It was the saddest day of my life when I was expelled. There is no initiative on my part to rejoin," Chatterjee, who is heading a Indian parliamentary delegation to the 54th Commonwealth Parliament Association meeting, told PTI.

Asked if would go back if the party approached him,Chatterjee said "there is too big of an if," adding that he wanted to lead a retired life.

"I don't believe in (going to) Vrindavan, I will go to a small corner of my state, far from the maddening crowd and lead a retired life," the 79-year-old veteran parliamentarian said. His term will end early next year.

The Speaker, however, stressed that there has been an "overwhelmingly" public response which was "unprecedented" when the party expelled him.

"They appreciated that I took a principled stand," he said.

"I take it as a overwhelming people's desire that parliament should function properly, which is the most important body in the country representing the people as a whole," he added.

Asked why he had not thought of resigning from the party when he became Lok Sabha Speaker, Chatterjee said it was not the convention then.