CPI-M veteran hits out party over Bengal Rajya Sabha candidate

Kolkata, Jan2 Jan 28 (IANS) Raising the rebel flag, veteran CPI-M legislator Abdur Rezzak Mollah Tuesday lambasted his party for nominating student leader Ritabrata Banerjee as its candidate for the Feb 7 Rajya Sabha polls.

“His nomination proves that people even indulging in club culture can get nomination. When I entered the party, only after working in the labour and peasant wings could people rise in ranks. But now the party is full of middle and upper class people,” said Mollah.
Students Federation of India (SFI) general secretary Banerjee has filed the nomination as a Left Front candidate.
“When the need was for a grassroots level fighter, the party has nominated someone who needs to be carried on a shoulder,” said the Communist Party of India-Marxist leader and former state minister.
Banerjee’s name has figured in the FIR filed in Delhi after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Finance Minister Amit Mitra were heckled last April by SFI activists when she went to the Planning Commission office for a meeting.
Following the incident, violence broke out in the state, and a number of party offices of the CPI-M were damaged by alleged Trinamool activists.
“After the heckling, so many of our party offices across the state were damaged. Such a person cannot be taken to any public rallies for the Lok Sabha polls. This move will lead the party to destruction,” Mollah said.
Despite his opposition to Banerjee’s candidature, he said he will vote for him as a loyal member of the party.
“I will vote for him as he is the party candidate. But later on, the party will have to suffer for this,” he added.
Mollah, a staunch critic of former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s industrial policies, said he was not afraid if the party took any action against him for his outburst.
“This is not the first time I have spoken against the party. Whenever I felt I need to oppose I have done that. I had my reservations which I have made known to the party as well as to the people. If the party thinks it tantamount to indiscipline it can take action,” he added.