CPI-M censures Bengal minister, politburo to decide on Chatterjee

July 20th, 2008 - 10:16 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Sunday publicly censured its senior leader and West Bengal Minister Subhas Chakraborty for publicly criticising the party’s decision to vote against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government. The CPI-M central committee, which met here Saturday and Sunday, also entrusted the party politburo to deal with the issue of party MP and Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee’s resigning from the post.

“The central committee has entrusted the politburo to deal with the issue in appropriate time,” CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat told reporters here.

The CPI-M has been facing an embarrassing situation after Chatterjee reportedly refused to heed his party’s advice to step down from the speaker’s post after the Left parties withdrew their legislative support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

While Chatterjee has claimed that the speaker’s office was above party politics, Karat has said that the talk of the speaker having nothing to do with politics and the party was “hypocritical”.

The central committee sent a strong signal to the party cadre by publicly censuring West Bengal Transport Minister Chakraborty, who had criticised the CPI-M leadership for its decision to vote against the trust motion that Manmohan Singh will introduce in the Lok Sabha Monday.

“The central committee publicly censured comrade Subhas Chakraborty, member of the state secretariat of West Bengal, for making statements challenging the party line. He should conform to the norms of the party,” a CPI-M statement said.

Chakraborty said it would not be correct to vote against the Congress-led government along with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the July 22 trust motion. The government has been reduced to a minority after the CPI-M and its allies withdrew the support of its 59 MPs protesting the UPA’s decision to go ahead with the India-US civil nuclear deal.

Karat said the central committee, the apex body of the party, had endorsed the politburo’s decision to withdraw support to the UPA government.

“It is shocking that the Manmohan Singh government went to the Board of Governors (of the International Atomic Energy Agency) for approval of the draft Safeguards Agreement without revealing the text to the country. The 123 agreement with the United States was similarly signed without taking the country into confidence,” the central committee alleged.

Karat, who has announced that the Left would ensure the fall of the UPA government, said he was “in the business of gathering support” for the Left’s stand.

“More and more forces are coming together,” Karat said adding that the Left would work jointly with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA).

The leaders of all these parties are meeting Wednesday to discuss their future strategies.

The CPI-M leader also predicted that the deal and the government will be “doomed” after the trust vote.

Karat also condemned the government’s “desperate and unscrupulous methods” to win unaffiliated members. “Shame on this government to use the votes of those who are in jail to sustain in power,” he said referring to the government’s attempts to get MPs who are jail to vote.

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