CPI(M) Cautions MP Ritabrata Banerjee


Kolkata: Taking a serious note of the raging controversy in the social media involving party MP Ritabrata Banerjee, the CPI-M on Thursday cautioned Banerjee and decided to come up with guidelines on the use of social media by party workers on issues relating to the party.

Addressing a press conference here, CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury said that the party would soon come up with guidelines on the use of social media both at the state level and national level on matters relating to the party.

As per new rules, while party members can propagate decision taken by the party on social media, they should not make comments on issues that the party is yet to decide on.

On the issue of lodging complaint or airing grievances by party members against any other comrade, Yechury said that such complaints should be made in the party forum and not on the social media.

For some months now we have been discussing this in the central committee. Social media does not provide licence to any party member to violate party disciplinary principles or to violate the party s principles of democratic centralism.

This is not allowed, Yechury said. Pointing out that social media is a public forum, Yechury said that airing grievances there is not the party norm .

“Anyone has the right in the party to make complaint against anyone upto general secretary. Such complaint should be made within the party and all such complaints will be dealt with in a time-bound manner as per our constitution,” he added.

After a party member raised questions on Banerjee’s using costly gadgets like an Apple watch and Mont Blanc pen, the MP allegedly wrote to his employer complaining against him. On Wednesday Banerjee made his stand clear before the State Committee of the party.

Asked whether the controversy was more because of public display of costly gadgets by a CPI-M member, Yechury said that the display of wealth in public was a matter of “personal convictions and personal consciousness of a comrade”.

We had communists who came from big landlord families who led a very spartan life, Yechury said giving references to CP(IM) stalwarts P Sundaraiah and EMS Namboodiripad.

However, Yechury pointed out that every MP got a grant to have electronic devices aimed at reducing use of paper in Parliament.

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