KOLKATA: The CPI-M on Friday formally announced the expulsion of party MP Ritabrata Banerjee for "serious breach" of party discipline and anti-party activities.
"The CPI-M's West Bengal State Secretariat, on September 13, had decided expulsion of Ritabrata Banerjee from his primary membership on charge of serious breach of party discipline and also for anti-party activities," Communist Party of India-Marxist State Secretary Surjya Kant Misra said in a statement on Friday.
The move came after Banerjee, in an interview with a television channel, took a dig at the party leadership and accused it of being anti-Bengali.
"Banerjee tried to malign the party in the recent television interview. The State Secretariat took the decision of expulsion on the basis of that," the statement said, adding that the MP was asked several times to correct himself but he instead continued to slander the party's image.
Rajya Sabha member Banerjee has courted controversy in the past. He was suspended by the party on June 2 for three months over his lavish lifestyle after he was accused of spending Rs 69.25 lakh on travel expenses in a year.
Mishra said the three-member commission, which was formed to look into the allegations, found basis in the charges.
The CPI-M West Bengal State Committee had in August recommended punitive action against Banerjee over lifestyle-related allegations.
The party had in February issued a "public warning" to Banerjee for threatening a party supporter who had raised questions on the social media about the source of funds of the young leader's expensive watch and pen.