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After CPM MP goes after critic, party set to discuss action

“Criticism within and outside the party is common, but that does not mean one would go after individuals who raise questions on, say, lifestyle. This is unbecoming of an MP,” a party leader said.

Written by Santanu Chowdhury | Kolkata |
February 21, 2017 4:18:15 am

DAYS AFTER CPM Rajya Sabha member Ritabrata Banerjee allegedly sought action against a youth who had, on social media, criticised his lifestyle and expensive gadgets he wore, the issue is likely to feature in the party’s two-day West Bengal state committee starting Wednesday, sources said on Monday. While the state committee has “disapproved” of Banerjee’s action, a senior CPM leader said they are surprised at the way he reacted to criticism.

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“There is no rule per se in party about lifestyle. With changing times, many leaders use smartphones and latest gadgets to get updates and connect with people on social media. But Communists believe a leader should have a sense of propriety while connecting with people,” a state committee member said on the condition of anonymity.

While Banerjee on Monday said the party has asked him not to speak about the issue, Politburo member Prakash Karat said, “He is a member of the state committee and it has disapproved of what has happened.”

Banerjee courted controversy last week after he mailed the HR department of the company where the youth worked, allegedly seeking action against him for using hate speech against him. The youth had posted a photo of Banerjee carrying a Mont Blanc pen and an Apple watch, asking whether a Parliamentarian from a party that claims to represent the poor should flaunt such articles.

“Criticism within and outside the party is common, but that does not mean one would go after individuals who raise questions on, say, lifestyle. This is unbecoming of an MP,” a party leader said.

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