Saturday, Oct 25, 2014

As CPM conducts probe, ex-MP resigns

Former CPM MP Lakhman Seth. (PTI) Former CPM MP Lakhman Seth. (PTI)
Express News Service | Kolkata | Posted: February 18, 2014 5:45 am

Former CPM MP Lakhman Seth, the alleged mastermind of Nandigram violence, today sent his resignation letter to the party headquarters in the city, confirmed a top CPM leader. Even though the party leaders are tight-lipped over the issue, it is learnt that Left Front chairman and CPM state secretary Biman Bose has received the letter from Seth in which he has offered his resignation from the post of party leader.

Seth, who joined CPM in 1970 and held the position of district secretary of undivided Midnapore, has been under the party’s scanner on several corruption charges, with a commission being set up to probe into the activities of an organisation managed by Seth.

“We have heard that our state secretary (Bose) has received a letter from Seth in which he has asked not to renew his party membership. However, our party has initiated an inquiry into several allegations against the leader, and is yet to get a report from the inquiry commission,” said a CPM leader on condition of anonymity. Despite repeated attempts, Tamalika Ponda Seth, wife of Lakshman Seth, remained unavailable. Tamalika is a senior leader of the party and continues to retains its membership.

Seth was elected an MP from Tamluk three times. Seth was arrested in March , 2012 from a Mumbai guest house. In January, 2012, the CID had filed a charge sheet against Seth and 87 others in connection with the violence in Nandigram on November 27, 2007, when CPM goons had tried to wrest control of the area. Seth and his associates were booked under Sections 302 and 120 (B) of the IPC. In a report to the Calcutta High Court, the CID had said that six people had been abducted by the CPM goons, and then later killed with their bodies dumped in a river near Nandigram. Apart from Nandigram, Seth’s role as the chairman of the Haldia Development Authority and an NGO floated by him, too, had come under cloud.

The former MP, however, was granted bail after four months in jail, nad barred from entering four districts – West Midnapore, East Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia. Seth now lives in an apartment in the city, according to sources in the CPM ranks.
Significantly, the party was unhappy with Seth after the allegations came to the fore. And so, as part of its “rectification drive”, CPM constituted an inquiry committee to probe into the allegations against its leader.

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