Trying to revive its political fortunes in West Bengal,the CPM has warned veteran leader and party MLA Rezzak Mollah to desist from making irresponsible statements and correct himself in at least two cases - first where he told women to avoid western clothing as it tempts men and second where he said even Left government did nothing for the poor.
However,Mollah,a former minister,has refused to bow down saying the party can do whatever it wants.
Mollah triggered a controversy when during a function he offered a dress code for girls to prevent sexual assaults.
Confine girls of your family to only salwar-kameez and dont let them wear things like jeans and top. My family members follow it,everybody should follow it, Mollah had said.
The comment invited severe criticism from various social groups. While State Womens Commission chairperson Sunanda Mukherjee termed the statement retrograde,state human rights commission asked the secretary to the state Assembly to check the veracity of the statements and submit a report within two weeks.
However,the party was quick to distance itself from the statement. Leader of Opposition and CPM Poliburo member Suryakanta Mishra said the party did not endorse Mollahs views.
Mollah courted another controversy during the programme when he criticised the Left and congratulated the ruling Trinamool Congress over introducing women empowerment schemes.
We will have to admit it (TMC government) is doing a lot of work for women empowerment…The CPM did not do much during its tenure and when it started announcing schemes for the welfare of women,it was too late, Mollah had said.
On Saturday,he told a rally that neither the previous Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government nor the incumbent under Mamata Banerjee has done anything for the poor and the downtrodden.
I told poor Muslims and Hindu dalits to ask Congress,CPM and TMC if they have got any agenda for the downtrodden. It should be written in their party manifesto. I told them to vote for the party that does good for them. And I will stick to what I say,come what may, Mollah said talking to The Indian Express Monday.
In a CPM state committee meeting Sunday,members alleged that Mollah was killing partys poll prospects by making such statements,following which he was told to correct himself or face action.
However,Mollah said he had a social identity,which came before his political identity. I cannot give up my social identity and the party can do whatever it wants to do, he reportedly said.
The state committee will again meet on November 30 and will also take up Mollahs case for discussion.