Justifying the expulsion of party MP Ritabrata Banerjee, the CPI-M on Sunday said he was shown the door after an enquiry commission found him “outright guilty” on four charges including “moral degeneration in relation to women” and “serious inconsistencies between his income and expenditure”.
In a statement, politburo member and party West Bengal committee secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said Banerjee was expelled from the primary membership for grave “anti-party activities” as he “persistently continued to malign the image of the party by various means ” and refused to rectify himself despite the party trying “its best” to help him.
Giving a detailed account of the enquiry against Banerjee, Mishra said he had been “cautioned publicly by the party state committee” last February for “breaking party discipline”.
“He was asked to rectify himself and refrain from misusing social media. Later on, the state committee meeting held on June 1 and 2 constituted a three-member enquiry commission to investigate four serious allegations against him.
“Under the provision of the party constitution he was suspended from the primary membership for three months till the enquiry was completed. He was allowed to defend himself in that state committee where he assiduously stated that the party was his guardian and he would strictly abide by the discipline and accept the decision of the State Committee whatever action would have to be taken following the report of the enquiry commission,” said Mishra.
The four allegations against Banerjee were: “continuous leakage of internal party matters and discussions to the media, moral degeneration in relation to women, serious inconsistencies between his income and expenditure and lavish life-style incompatible with the member of the Party”.
Referring to criticism in a section of the media about Banerjee’s expulsion, Mishra said the enquiry commission extensively recorded statements and evidences of the party members who were in the know of the things.
“He was heard four times by the commission comprehensively on numerous allegations on the aforesaid four areas. Though he failed to disprove most of the serious charges against him, he seemed to be not at all repentant.
“In its report the enquiry commission found him outright guilty. He had been given the chargesheet by the state committee on the basis of findings of the enquiry commission. His reply to the chargesheet was considered to be totally unfounded.
“Repeatedly, the party tried its best to help him rectify but failed. He has refused to rectify himself and persistently continued to malign the image of the Party by various means. In accordance with the Commission’s findings the State Committee has decided to take penal measures against him in August 7-8 meeting and informed the matter to Central Committee,” the statement said.
Mishra said, although Banerjee deserved stringent punishment it was not extended at that time, considering certain aspects as the party kept it as a last resort.
“The decision of the state committee was communicated to the Central Committee. Instead of complying with the party discipline, he resorted to malign the party publicly with the help of a section of a media including an organised interview in a TV channel on September 11 where he ridiculously raised personal and political differences in the party in tune with the tirade of the enemies of the party and which are not only unfounded but shop-soiled stories of the inimical forces.”
“Considering his grave anti-party and anti-communist role, the State Secretariat of the party has taken the decision of summarily expelling him from the primary membership of the party on September 13.”