CPM Thursday expelled Lakshman Seth, a rebel party leader who was the face of the party during the Nandigram movement, a day after he praised West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. The party, however, claimed he was shown the door for indulging in anti-party activities.
“Seth was expelled from the party for indulging in anti-party activities as well as tarnishing the image of the party in public, thus violating Article 19/13 of the party constitution. We believe this action will strengthen the party as those who flout party rules has to be dealt with,’’ Rabin Dev, party state secretariat member, who headed a three-member commission to look into the activities of the Haldia-based concerns, which were headed by Seth, told The Indian Express.
Last month, the party had expelled former state minister Rezaq Mollah, MLA from Canning (east) for anti-party activities.
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The party set up a three-member panel to probe the allegations that Seth, 67, had indulged in gross financial irregularities while selling off certain Haldia-based organisations managed by him. Seth was also dropped from the party state committee two months ago.
Meanwhile, Seth a vice-president of CITU, labour wing of CPM, once considered the Czar of Haldia industrial belt launched a scathing attack on the party, particularly former CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and state secretary Biman Bose after his expulsion.
“The expulsion does not mean anything to me since I did not renew the party membership that expired this month. Buddhadeb, once called the cabinet under Jyoti Basu and resigned from it. He should have been expelled for that. At a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce, he said it was unfortunate he was a member of a political party that only believed in strikes. A few months back at a rally in Midnapore, he said the party had committed a mistake in Netai (where eight people killed by alleged CPM goons).
Seth also blamed Bhattacharjee for the in 2007 Nandigram firing and said he should have resigned, which led to the killing of 14 people. “He failed as an administrator, failed as a Communist and should have resigned and Somnath Chatterjee should have replaced him.’’
Seth did not spare Biman Bose either. “He should have been expelled for going to the media with the information of setting up the probe against my organisations. I was ready to face the probe… but why did they drop me from the state committee before anything was proven. They wanted to make me a scapegoat for the Nandigram fiasco.’’
His expulsion evoked reactions from the political spectrum. “The party should prepare a list of leaders of whom they would expel and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s name should top it,’’ Abdur Rezaq Mollah said.