CPI-M expels dissident Lakshman Seth
The CPI-M Thursday expelled dissident leader Laxman Seth, its frontman in the Nandigram movement, after he attacked former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and called the party "autocratic". Seth said he had already expressed his desire not to stay in the party.
"At a time the state committee has taken the initiative to discipline and better the party organisation in East Midnapore district, a member of the district committee and district secretariat Lakshman Seth has got involved in serous anti-party activity. He is also trying to lower the image of the party publicly.
"As per the decision of the state secretariat, he has been expelled from the party under the clause 19/13 of the party constitution," a Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) statement said.
Seth's removal from the party comes within a month after another party rebel - veteran legislator Abdur Rezzak Mollah - was expelled Feb 26 also for "serious anti-party activities".
Incidentally, Seth was present at an event when Mollah, prior to his expulsion, had launched pro-Dalit and minority outfit "Social Justice Forum" which he claimed will field candidates in the West Bengal assembly polls in 2016.
Seth, who Wednesday said he wanted to end his relations with the party by not renewing his membership which lapses March 31, said after his expulsion: "I have already given a letter last month saying I don't wish to continue in the party. The party leadership's action amounts to cutting a corpse with an axe."
Hours earlier, Seth had said that Bhattacharjee should have stepped down as chief minister after the police firing in 2007 which led to 14 deaths.
He also commented that the then party-led Left Front government had lost all authority after the firing and "it seemed as if the LF has lost power".
Accusing the party of becoming "autocratic", he alleged that a handful of people were running the CPI-M.
A day earlier, Seth had charged the party leadership with hatching a conspiracy to expel him, and praised West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her guts and maturity as a political administrator.
Lashing out at the CPI-M leadership, Seth said: "It only hatched conspiracies to throw me out."
Seth spent 118 days in police custody after the Banerjee government cracked down on him for allegedly plotting violent incidents in Nandigram in 2007. He is now out on bail.
The former MP's ire was directed at his party for removing him from the state committee and forming a commission to probe graft charges concerning an NGO with which he was involved.
"My party did not stand by me during my crisis, when the Mamata Banerjee government wrecked vengeance on me," he had said.
A two-member panel constituted to inquire into corruption and anti-party activities against Seth was recently heckled by his loyalists in East Midnapore.
Seth was under the scanner following the sale of a medical and a dental college in Haldia to a private business group for a whopping amount.
(Posted on 27-03-2014)