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Fate of suspended CPI(M) Rajya Sabha member to be decided next week

The state committee of the party in Bengal will deliberate on the matter on August 7 and 8.

kolkata Updated: Aug 04, 2017 09:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
CPI(M),MP,Rajya Sabha
Ritabrata Banerjee, 38, has already made a mark as an eloquent speaker in the Rajya Sabha.(HT Photo)

More trouble seems to be in store for suspended CPI(M) Rajya Sabha member, Ritabrata Banerjee, as the three- member committee probing complaints against him found prima facie evidence of two of the allegations against him. The committee has submitted its report to the party state committee in West Bengal on August 2 and the matter is expected to be deliberated in detail during the next meeting of the committee on August 7 and 8.

There are mainly three complaints against 38-year old Banerjee. First, he had a lavish lifestyle that included use of expensive personal gadgets. Second, he was accused of ‘romantic liaisons’ not befitting a Marxist. Third, he leaking information on party matters to a section of the media.

Read: CPM suspends Rajya Sabha MP Ritabrata Banerjee for lavish lifestyle

According to sources, the committee has found substance in the first two accusations.

Politburo member Md Salim was the head of the three-member probe committee of the party investigating the charges against Banerjee. ( HT Photo )

The three-member probe committee was headed by CPI(M) politburo and Lok Sabha member, Md Salim. The other two members were central committee member, Madan Ghosh and state secretariat member, Mridul De.

“The final decision will be taken only after the matter is debated at length in the state committee. There are voices both in favour and against disciplinary action against him. All I can say now is that the probe found substance in some of the complaints,” said a veteran member of the state committee on condition of anonymity. The MP’s suspension may be extended.

Read: Apple watch, Mont Blanc pen: Left MP Ritabrata Banerjee says he threatened critic

Banerjee, considered a prominent youth face of the party, was suspended for three months on June 2. The decision was taken in a state committee meeting, where some of the members opposed the suspension vehemently.

This photo posted on social media allegedly showed the MP with a Mont Blanc pen (circled in red). ( Facebook )

The MP himself argued that a section of the party leadership was conspiring against him since he became of member of the upper house of the Parliament.

It is not the first time that Banerjee waded into a controversy. Earlier this year, he posted a picture in a social networking site sporting an Apple watch and Mont Blanc Pen. After a Democratic Youth Federation of India (the youth wing of the party) member made a Facebook post of this picture questioning on how a communist leader can sport such expensive gadgets, Banerjee wrote a letter to the company where the DYFI member was employed and demanded disciplinary action against him.

Banerjee was then censored by the party leadership.

CPI(M) leaders could not recall when a prominent party face was suspended last for opulent lifestyle and other complaints. Banerjee has been a member of the Rajya Sabha since February 2014.

First Published: Aug 04, 2017 09:50 IST