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CPI (M) in Bengal cuts its nose to spite the face; expels young MP Ritabrata



CPI (M) in Bengal cuts its nose to spite the face; expels young MP Ritabrata

 By Sujit Bhar

A failing party with a regressive attitude cannot expect to face the might of Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress

As it finally turned out, the expulsion on Wednesday (September 13), of its Rajya Sabha MP Ritabrata Banerjee from the party was the result of a factional feud within the CPI (M) and his three-month suspension, announced on June 2, was just a precursor to this expulsion.

Of course, Banerjee had gone to the popular local television channel ABP Ananda and poured his heart out about the reportedly pernicious nature of associations that the Prakash and Brinda Karat faction brought to the table – Banerjee is unapologetically in the Sitaram Yechury camp – but the initial impression that the Md Salim committee (which looked into the allegations against Banerjee) had given was that he was in the dock for his lavish lifestyle.

Banerjee called Salim the “agent” of the Karats in West Bengal. Such in-the-face comments aren’t what communist regimes are used to, but more than that, Salim’s influence within the party is considerable, and it is being viewed that the Buddhadev Bhattacharya group may be losing traction within the state committee. The Salim committee has maintained that this expulsion order need not be taken to the central committee of the party, since Banerjee has been a state committee member. Hence, this is an internal matter.

Apart from the fact that the very existence of the CPI (M) is at stake around the country, now the credibility of the party as a congress of erudite and bhadralok stalwarts is also in doubt. There have always been differences within the party and expulsions have happened all along the history of the party. But now possibly is a very wrong time to show to the world the cracks within. It is not a very bright idea.

The root of the communist movement in India – with beginnings dating back to MN Roy’s importing of the concept to the sub-continent – has been through trade union movements and farmers’ struggles. Even in the vastly changed scenario around the world today – economically, as well as socially – the seed within certain sections of the CPI (M), itself an offshoot of the CPI, seems to have remained unchanged.

The complexities of today’s society have had a retrograde effect on the party. With failings showing up starkly within the West Bengal chapter of the party, the Karat faction, lying low for long in the state, has reared its head and claimed its first victim. This cannot be good news. There is enough resentment within the youth of the party in Bengal – whatever is left of it – and in the expulsion of a popular youth leader this resentment will only grow. When the old leaders have not been able to show the way out of the current mess, is it advisable to retrace faded footprints in trying to recreate the pure-bred communist utopia that was once the dream?

The Kerala influence in Bengal politics is increasingly becoming stronger. With Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan now a staunch supporter of the Karat group, and boasting a government that the Bengal counterpart does not have, theirs is a voice more clearly heard today. In the 34 years that the CPI (M) ruled Bengal, there was no need to listen to anybody other than home-grown leaders for Bengal’s communists. The Kerala communists also have within its fold a number of top businessmen, who throw their weight behind the communists and the Congress almost alternatively. At this point the money purse belongs to the Kerala communists. Then, there is a huge complement Keralites in West Asia, with repatriation amounts totaling in the billions of dollars. They too, at this point of time, have chosen to support the communists. In the past, when it had suited them, they too had supported the Congress.

That apart, of course, there is the factor of Prakash Karat being a Keralite. He gains trust, despite his antediluvian ideals.

This triple whammy from Kerala was possibly too much for the likes of Banerjee and the Yechury faction to digest. Moreover, with the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal so strong that they can wipe out resistance by the BJP too, the local communists have little hope. This means the fangs of age-old communist traditions, given up across the globe, hold sway in Bengal.

Why else would a state committee member’s actions be made out to be openly against the party? Why was this not solved at the state level? Why did the state communists decide to cut the nose to spite the face?

The committee cites some special clause of the party constitution in saying: “In exceptional circumstances party committees in their discretion may resort to summary procedure in expelling members for grave anti-party activities.” What was so special about debate, of a different point of view? Why was it considered abhorrent?

If not the TMC, regression will kill the party in Bengal for sure.

Latest Politics News

PM Modi takes a dig at SP, Congress, asks them to take lessons from Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath

PM Modi said that the Congress is also planning to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision on Ram Temple.



Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday claimed that the Congress and the Samajwadi Party will run bulldozers and demolish the Ram Temple if voted to power. Taking a dig at these aforesaid parties, the Prime Minister suggested them to take lessons from Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on the appropriate utilization of bulldozers.

Addressing an election rally at Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki, PM Narendra Modi claimed that a senior Samajwadi Party leader had said on the day of Ram Navami that Ram Temple is useless. He further said that the Congress is also planning to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision on Ram Temple. He said that if Congress-Samajwadi Party comes to power, they will send Ram Lalla back to the tent. 

Recently, Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav triggered controversy by terming the Ram Temple as useless due to perceived inadequate construction. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has criticized the remarks, and pointed out this to be the reality of the INDIA bloc.  

Speaking in the Hindi heartland, the Prime Minister mentioned that SP-Congress have surrendered to the appeasement, and when he is speaking truth, the parties are blaming him for creating Hindu-Muslim divide. He further referred to SP Leader Akhilesh Yadav as a socialist prince who has taken shelter under a new aunt from Bengal, apparently referring to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banejee. 

The Prime Minister stated the vote bank the opposition people run after has also started understanding the truth now. He expressed that mothers and sisters of the country are happy with the laws on triple talaq are continuously blessing his government. 

During the election rally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi exuded confidence that the BJP will retain their power for the third term in a row. PM Modi said that the Modi government would score a hat-trick. He also promised to work for the welfare of the poor, youth, women, and farmers during his third term, and sought blessings of the people.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Rahul Gandhi says Congress will give 10kg free ration if elected to power

He also recalled that during the UPA government, the Congress has given legal status to the right to food through the Food Security Act.



Ahead of the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha election, Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that the Congress will provide 10 Kg free ration to the poor families if elected to power. He added that 10 Kg ration along with Rs 8500 per month will promote education and self-employment among millions in the country.

Taking to social media platform X, formerly Twitter, Rahul Gandhi said that Congress has taken another big decision for the poor families of the country. He promised that his party will give 10 Kg free ration, instead of 5Kg. He also recalled that during the UPA government, the Congress has given legal status to the right to food through the Food Security Act. and that 10 Kg free ration will be the next step in the direction.

Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of running a government of Adani, and making 20-25 billionaires, the senior Congress leader said that Congress will make crores of millionaires and run the government of Indians. Earlier, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge also promised to provide 10Kg free ration if voted to power.

Meanwhile, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Thursday slammed BJP’s 5Kg ration policy at an election rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Raebareli, where Rahul Gandhi is contesting. She said that 5Kg ration will not make one self-reliant, but employment will. She explained the electorates need to understand that political parties whose ideologies make people dependent is not right. She concluded that voters will choose employment over 5Kg ration that BJP promises.

Along with 10Kg free ration, Congress has also promised to start recuitment process for 30 lakh government post by August 15. The Party also vowed to provide the youth their first job of Rs 1 lakh per year. It also guranteed better working conditions, pensions and social security for the work force of the gig economy.

Furthermore, the Congress also promised start-up funds for young entrepreneurs at district levels from the national funds of Rs 5000 crore. The party also pledged to give National minimum wage of Rs400 per day, including all MGNREGS workers, and stop contractualisation of employment in core government functions.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

BJP to contest all 13 Punjab Lok Sabha seats for first time since 1996, says state BJP chief Sunil Jakhar

Jakhar said that the Lok Sabha election was the most appropriate time for the BJP to contest independently, as the state is looking for an option



Punjab BJP state President Sunil Jakhar recently said that his party will contest all 13 Lok Sabha sears in the state independently. The BJP has not allied with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) since 1996.

Sunil Jakhar in an interview with a news publication, said that this decision signifies a new chapter in the party’s strategy in Punjab. The BJP had allied with the SAD in Punjab for over two decades, and is considered to be a major coalition in the state’s political landscape.

The BJP state chief noted that the decision to contest independently was taken on the account of the feedback from the public and party members, reflecting a growing sentiment within the BJP to establish a stronger, independent presence in Punjab.

Jakhar continued that the Lok Sabha election was the most appropriate time for the BJP to contest independently, as the state is looking for an option. He asserted that Punjab tried out-of-the-box experiment in form of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), but are dissappointed with them.

He further highlighted the BJP’s work under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, particularly in securing minimum support prices for farmers, as key accomplishments that the party will present to the electorate. This development follows as the BJP aims to consolidate its position and expand its influence in Punjab.

Notably, the SAD was one of the oldest allies of the BJP. Nonetheless, the SAD severed ties with the NDA in September 2020 over the now repealed farm laws that saw widespread protests in northern India.

Speaking about coalition with SAD, the BJP state chief said that the alliance was not political but a social one. He added that the party is facing a battle of survival, and that its leader Sukhbir Singh Badal has sins to wash of, including the drug problem and sacrilege cases.

Election in Punjab’s 13 Lok Sabha seats is scheduled for June 1, 2024. This development is expected to significantly alter the dynamics of the electoral battle in Punjab, traditionally dominated by the SAD-BJP coalition and the Congress party.

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