CPI-M threatens stringent action against insubordinate members

Kolkata, Feb 19: A day after angry supporters of a former party MP heckled a two-member committee set up to probe graft charges against him, the CPI-M leadership in West Bengal Wednesday said stringent action would be taken against any member found involved in the “undesirable” incident.

The irate associates of Lakshman Seth, a Communist Party of India-Marxist strongman of East Midnapore district, had staged an intense demonstration against the two-member committee formed by the party’s state control commission Tuesday when it arrived at the district party office to investigate the charges.

The slogan-shouting demonstrators banged on the car carrying the committee members led by state secretariat member Rabin Deb, demanding the probe be called off forthwith against the three-time Lok Sabha member from Tamluk.

They prevented the delegation members from entering the office.

In a statement, the state committee said: “Three members of the state secretariat faced an undesirable incident outside the district office Feb 18 when they had gone there to carry out their normal organizational responsibilities.”

“The East Midnapore district committee has been directed to take strong punitive action against any party members involved with it,” said the statement.

The state committee said soon after the incident, a meeting of the district secretariat held in the presence of the state leadership “strongly condemned” the developments and decided to identify the “real culprits”.

The statement also called upon the district leadership, party members and workers to remain alert so that such incidents did not recur in future.

Seth, who wielded immense clout in the district during the last decade of Left Front’s 34-year rule, is now out on bail after spending 118 days in police and jail custody for allegedly plotting violent incidents in Nandigram of East Midnapore district in 2007.

Protesting against the then Left government’s decision to set up a chemical hub at Nandigram in 2006, then opposition Trinamool Congress led peasants launched an intense agitation which culminated in the death of 14 people in violence and police firing.

The Nandigram disturbances are believed to have played a pivotal part in the Left Front losing power in the state in 2011.

With the party forming the probe panel into charges of corruption and anti-party activities against him, Seth had two days back shot off a letter to state party secretary Biman Bose saying he wanted to quit the CPI-M.

Seth is under the scanner following the sale of a medical and a dental college in Haldia of the district to a private business group for a whopping amount.

IANS