CPI-M censures Chakraborty, to decide on Somnath (Lead)

July 20th, 2008 - 8:54 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

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

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

The CPI-M has been facing embarrassment after Chatterjee reportedly refused to oblige his party’s direction to step down from the speaker’s post after the Left withdrew support to the Congress-led government.

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

The central committee sent a strong signal to the party cadre by publicly censuring West Bengal Transport Minister Chakraborty, who had attacked the CPI-M leadership for deciding to vote against the trust motion.

“He should conform to the norms of the party,” a CPI-M statement said.

Chakraborty had said that it would not be correct to vote against the government along with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Tuesday trust motion. The Left ended its support to the government over the India-US nuclear deal.

Karat said the central committee had endorsed the politburo decision to withdraw support to the Manmohan Singh-led 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 US was similarly signed without taking the country into confidence,” said the central committee.

Karat, who has announced that the Left would ensure the fall of the UPA government, said he was “in the business of gathering support” to 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 will meet Wednesday, a day after the trust vote, to discuss their future strategies.

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

“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 prison to vote.

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