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Lavish lifestyle proves costly: RS MP Ritabrata Banerjee faces removal from CPI(M)

Sulagna Sengupta | Updated on: 8 August 2017, 22:13 IST

The West Bengal unit of the CPI(M) has recommended the removal of Rajya Sabha MP Ritabrata Banerjee from the state committee of the party.

The West Bengal state committee of the CPI(M) upheld the report of a three member probe panel that had been constituted to inquire into Banerjee’s conduct. He is accused of leading a “lavish” lifestyle that is unbecoming of a Marxist, despite warnings from the state unit.

The three member inquiry committee comprising of senior party leaders Mohammad Salim, Madan Ghosh, Mridul De submitted their report on Monday. Based on the report, the state committee has recommended that Banerjee be removed.

 “We had warned Banerjee not to flaunt his lavish lifestyle after controversy erupted regarding him displaying his personal belongings like a Mont Blanc pen and expensive watch. But he did not respond to this and continued to follow such a lifestyle. This irked a few committee members and after reviewing the inquiry report, this decision has been taken,” a state committee member told Catch.

Catch contacted Banerjee but he did not want to comment on the matter.

However, not all are on the same page on this action. Some leaders are of the opinion that Banerjee should have been given more time before such a drastic punishment.  

 “We feel that the state committee should have given Banerjee some more time before recommending his suspension. He is a young face and a good speaker who helped improve CPI(M)’s image,” said a senior leader close to Banerjee.

Another section of the CPI(M) are of the opinion that Banerjee has often deviated from the party line and took decisions bypassing state committee members.

 “We have suspended Banerjee from as he continued to display his  lavish lifestyle. The party does not endorse such habits,” said senior leader Surjya Kanta Mishra.

On 2 June, the West Bengal unit of the CPI(M) had decided to suspend Banerjee for three months. This came on the heels of a controversy that erupted in the party after a DYFI leader posted a picture of Banerjee flaunting his Mont Blanc pen and Apple watch.

First published: 8 August 2017, 22:13 IST