CPM suspends Rajya Sabha MP for lavish lifestyle

Banerjee had sported Apple watch, Mont Blanc accessory

CPM suspends Rajya Sabha MP for lavish lifestyle

The CPM on Friday suspended its Rajya Sabha MP Ritabrata Banerjee for three months for violating the party’s lifestyle norms.

The decision was taken by the West Bengal State Committee, which also decided to set-up a committee to probe allegations against the 38-year-old MP, who was in the eye of a storm after a party sympathiser criticised him on social media for using an Apple watch and Mont Blanc accessory.

A source said the disciplinary action was taken against Banerjee for going against the party plenum decisions, which warned against the lavish lifestyle of cadres at different levels. The source said it was not just the gadgets but also complaints about his lifestyle that prompted the committee to take disciplinary action.

In February, the party had cautioned Banerjee, who complained against a party sympathiser to his employer – a Bengaluru-based startup – and demanded action against him.

The party sympathiser had reacted to a photograph Banerjee posted on social media, and sought to know how the
MP bought such costly gadgets.

The party had warned its cadres and leaders about opulent lifestyle at its Kolkata Plenum in 2015 when it acknowledged complaints about “lifestyle, corrupt practices and persistent violations of Communist norms” by “certain comrades”. The report adopted at the plenum stated that the atmosphere created by “liberalisation policies and practices of bourgeois political parties” were influencing a section of comrades. It had also talked about reports from many states about complaints of domestic violence against party members.

“There are also complaints against party members about their lavish lifestyle and spending beyond their known sources of income,” the report stated.

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