CPI(M) Rajya Sabha MP from West Bengal, Ritabrata Banerjee, who was expelled from the party for ‘anti-party activities’ has said that his fight is not against the party but a set of individuals.
Banerjee, also the former all-India general secretary of CPI(M)’s student wing SFI, has named CPI(M) Polit bureau members Prakash Karat, Brinda Karat and Mohammed Salim as the individuals with whom he has a problem with.
“My fight is not against the party. My fight is against a set of individuals. Prakash and Brinda Karat in Delhi and their Bengal agent Mohammed Salim,” he was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Reports suggest that his expulsion has signaled the feud between the Sitaram Yechury and the Prakash Karat camps ahead of the party’s national conclave next year. Banerjee is known to be close to party general secretary Sitaram Yechury.
Banerjee was expelled days after he gave an explosive interview to a Bengali television channel in which he had lashed out against Salim and the party’s central leadership. He was earlier suspended from the party over his ‘lavish life style’. His life style had become a point of contention in February this year after a member of CPIM)’s youth wing, DYFI, questioned him on Facebook over a picture he posted on social media sporting an Apple watch and a Mont Blanc Pen. The DYFI member had asked how a communist leader can sport such expensive gadgets. Banerjee then reacted to it by allegedly writing to the DYFI member’s employer demanding disciplinary action against him.
A senior leader on condition of anonymity had then told Outlook that “several of us are extremely annoyed and concerned with this decision (to suspend Banerjee).”
“It is a long association of 21 years. I am bleeding, profusely bleeding because this is a question of my roots. I have known nothing other than the party,” Banerjee told The Indian Express after his expulsion.