After Ritabrata Banerjee episode Bengal CPI(M) to brainstorm on strict enforcement of social media guidelines
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After Ritabrata Banerjee episode Bengal CPI(M) to brainstorm on strict enforcement of social media guidelines

Ritabrata Banerjee’s experience has taught the CPI(M) that controlling the usage of social media platforms by members is going to be crucial in ensuring party discipline in the days ahead.

kolkata Updated: Sep 19, 2017 12:37 IST
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Hindustan Times
CPI(M),Ritabrata Banerjee,Prakash Karat
From former general secretary Prakash Karat to politburo member Md Salim, a number of CPI(M) leaders have been publicly criticised by Ritabrata Banerjee.(HT Photo)

Embittered by the Ritabrata Banerjee episode, whose comments on social networking platforms eventually led to a situation where the young Rajya Sabha MP had to be expelled from the party, the West Bengal unit of CPI(M) has decided to enforce strict discipline among the party members in the use of social networking sites.

“Some like Ritabrata Banerjee have misused social networking platforms to malign the party and its leaders. He continued it for a period of time and his action encouraged some other members. Now it is time to discipline them. The party feels the necessity of enforcing guidelines on use of social networking sites by party members more strictly now,” said a central committee member of CPI(M).

Read: CPI(M) leadership is anti-Bengali, Politburo has Muslim quota: MP Ritabrata Banerjee

Party politburo member Lok Sabha MP Mohammad Salim told HT that a guideline already exists, and the district committees and party units will oversee the adherence to it. “The party units will monitor the situation. If there are violations of the guidelines, decisions will be taken accordingly,” said Salim.

An item on the agenda in the next meeting of the party’s state committee in West Bengal will be on how to monitor and control the use of social networking sites by party members. “The state secretary, politburo members and district secretaries will out of the monitoring purview. But the strict enforcement of party guidelines on use of social networking sites will be applicable for all other levels,” the central committee member said.

Read: CPI(M) justifies expulsion of RS MP Ritabrata Banerjee for ‘anti-communist’ role

Significantly, just before the enquiry against Ritabrata Banerjee by a three member commission, the party expelled some members mainly in Nadia and Hooghly district for making adverse comments about the leadership in social networking sites.

According to a central committee member, Ritabrata Banerjee was aware of the disciplinary action against some fellow party members, but he did not take a lesson and continued maligning the party leaders.

Before he was expelled Banerjee twitted congratulating BJP ministers that did not go down well with his party leaders.

“We have encouraged our party workers to make effective use of social networking sites to highlight party programmes, ideology, events of social injustice by ruling parties and police atrocities," said a CPI(M) leader.

First Published: Sep 19, 2017 12:37 IST