KOLKATA: The CPM politburo Friday approved the expulsion of controversial Rajya Sabha MP from Bengal, Ritabrata Banerjee. The West Bengal state committee expelled Banerjee from the party membership and sought the politburo's approval on September 13.
In a press release, West Bengal CPM state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said the decision to expel Banerjee from party membership was made based on an interview to a Bengali news channel where he had 'defamed' the party.
In the interview broadcast on September 11, Banerjee had claimed that the CPM politburo had reservations for Muslims and women and accused the top leadership of being 'anti-Bengali'.
"Ritabrata Banerjee was warned in February for indiscipline but he was involved in more serious breach of party discipline because of which, Banerjee was suspended from the state committee membership on June 1 for three months and a three-member committee was constituted to probe the allegations brought against him. He was given opportunity to defend himself. The committee report found Banerjee guilty of anti-party activities," the statement said.
"Despite being given multiple chances to mend his ways, Banerjee continued to bring a bad name to the party. Hence, the state committee decided to take strict action against Banerjee on August 7 and informed the central committee about the proceedings, which took the final call on the punishment to Banerjee," it added.
The MP had broken down in front of the media after his expulsion, terming it as 'severing his umbilical cord attached with the party'. However, speculation was rife that Banerjee may join the BJP. He is rumoured to have met state BJP president Dilip Ghosh at a hotel to discuss the prospects of joining the saffron party, which is on the rise in West Bengal.