Seven years after his expulsion, veteran Marxist and former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee is likely to be re-inducted into the CPI(M) shortly.
The homecoming of the 86-year-old former MP, who had served 10 terms in Lok Sabha, is on the basis of a recommendation by the party’s West Bengal state unit, highly-placed sources in the party said.
The recommendation was under the active consideration of the CPI(M)’s top leadership, they said.
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For the second time in three weeks, party General Secretary Sitaram Yechury will share dais with Chatterjee at his hometown Bolpur tomorrow at a Shantiniketan college function, where the former has spent over Rs one crore from his MPLAD funds.
Earlier this month, Chatterjee had joined Yechury and top West Bengal party leaders including Biman Basu and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at a programme to mark the 102nd birth anniversary of party patriarch Jyoti Basu.
The move to re-induct Chatterjee comes after the Keralaunit recommended bringing home another Marxist veteran K R Gowri Amma, who would rejoin the party at a function scheduled on August 19 at Alappuzha.
94-year old Gowri Amma’s reinduction into the party fold also comes after Yechury has taken over the mantle of the CPI(M), which has decided that such cases should be decided and recommended by the respective state units.
Chatterjee, who turns 86 on July 29, was expelled in July 2008 after he had refused to quit the post of the Speaker in the aftermath of the Left parties withdrawing support from the UPA-I government in protest over the Indo-US nuclear deal.
Earlier, when Yechury was asked about the re-induction of Chatterjee, he had replied: “there are certain methodologies for such cases. Those methodologies are already taking place. You will get to know about it soon.”
Chatterjee’s expulsion had come after he had decided to continue as Speaker, ignoring the party’s directive to resign, maintaining that as the Lok Sabha Speaker he was above party politics given the nature of the post.
Gowri Amma is the only surviving member of the country’s first Communist government that came to power in Kerala in 1957 under the leadership of legendary EMS Nampoodiripad.
The CPI(M) had sacked her in 1994, after which she had formed her own party, the Janathipathiya Samrakshana Samithy (JSS), and allied with the Congress-led UDF in Kerala. At the August 19 ceremony, JSS would also formally merge with the CPI(M).