19/07/2015 4:13 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Somnath Chatterjee Likely To Return To CPI(M)

** FILE ** In this Feb. 28, 2007 file photo, Indian Speaker of Lower House, Somnath Chatterjee gestures as he leaves the Parliament House in New Delhi, India. A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh won a confidence vote that paves the way for a landmark nuclear deal with the United States,the Communist Party of India (Marxist) kicked out Chatterjee, who defied the party's leadership and chaired the debate instead of giving up the speakership so he could vote as a regular member of parliament. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan, File)

NEW DELHI -- Seven years after his expulsion, veteran Marxist and former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee is likely to be re-inducted into the CPI(M) shortly.

The homecoming of the 86-year-old former MP, who had served 10 terms in Lok Sabha, is on the basis of a recommendation by the party's West Bengal state unit, highly-placed sources in the party said.

The recommendation was under the active consideration of the CPI(M)'s top leadership, they said.

For the second time in three weeks, party General Secretary Sitaram Yechury will share dais with Chatterjee at his hometown Bolpur tomorrow at a Shantiniketan college function, where the former has spent over Rs one crore from his MPLAD funds.

Earlier this month, Chatterjee had joined Yechury and top West Bengal party leaders including Biman Basu and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at a programme to mark the 102nd birth anniversary of party patriarch Jyoti Basu.

The move to reinduct Chatterjee comes after the Kerala unit recommended bringing home another Marxist veteran K R Gowri Amma, who would rejoin the party at a function scheduled on August 19 at Alappuzha.

94-year old Gowri Amma's reinduction into the party fold also comes after Yechury has taken over the mantle of the CPI(M), which has decided that such cases should be decided and recommended by the respective state units.

Chatterjee, who turns 86 on July 29, was expelled in July 2008 after he had refused to quit the post of the Speaker in the aftermath of the Left parties withdrawing support from the UPA-I government in protest over the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Earlier, when Yechury was asked about the re-induction of Chatterjee, he had replied: "there are certain methodologies for such cases. Those methodologies are already taking place. You will get to know about it soon."

Chatterjee's expulsion had come after he had decided to continue as Speaker, ignoring the party's directive to resign, maintaining that as the Lok Sabha Speaker he was above party politics given the nature of the post.

Gowri Amma is the only surviving member of the country's first Communist government that came to power in Kerala in 1957 under the leadership of legendary EMS Nampoodiripad.

The CPI(M) had sacked her in 1994, after which she had formed her own party, the Janathipathiya Samrakshana Samithy (JSS), and allied with the Congress-led UDF in Kerala. At the August 19 ceremony, JSS would also formally merge with the CPI(M).

BJP Eyes Elections Next Year

The multi-crore Saradha scam and the issue of illegal migrants from Bangladesh will be the focus of BJP's campaign for next year's Assembly polls in West Bengal where the party is planning to expand its footprints.

BJP, which could not win a single seat in the last polls, has set its campaign in the state where it faces stiff competition from Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress and Left parties.

"Our organisation structure in West Bengal is little weak. We will focus on illegal work being done by the government there. We will hit out on corruption and especially a particular section of people who are abducting minor girls, we will fight all these," BJP's General Secretary and in-charge for West Bengal Kailash Vijaywargiya told PTI here.

He said the party will do "sangharsh" (fight hard) to throw the state government out of power and form the government on its own in the state after winning the 2016 election.

BJP had contested 289 seats in the 2011 Assembly polls in West Bengal but failed to win a single seat in 294-member House (excluding one member to be nominated from Anglo Indian community).

Vijaywargiya said the infamous Saradha chit-fund scam, "deteriorating" law and order situation and illegal Bangladesh migrants issue will be raised as part of its campaign.

"We will raise Saradha scam issue. We have found corruption at the corporation level, we will raise that also. In all the law and order situation is bad in West Bengal, that also we need to raise," he said.

Vijaywargiya said if his party comes to power, it will identify the illegal migrants living in the state and take appropriate steps against them.

"Our clear thinking on the issue is that all illegal migrants need to be identified. Those who are living there whether they are Hindus or Muslims, they need to be identified. We need to identify the nationality of such people and take appropriate steps."

"We will take action on the way Bangladeshi migrants have been made to enter the state and given voting rights. This will surely be the election issue," the BJP leader said, adding that, Bangladeshi migrants entering the state illegally need to be checked.

Asked as to how his party would manage the number in Rajya Sabha, where it does not have sufficient members and require support of other parties including the TMC, he said the issue will be dealt by the central leadership.

"(BJP President) Amit Shah has given a target to me to form our government in the state. We will do all to form the government. Other issues will be dealt by central leadership here," he said.

On the upcoming Assembly elections in Bihar, he said BJP will be benefited by the Nitish-Lalu alliance.

"Our preparations are in full swing. Look at the comments being made by Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar at each other. Their alliance is not based on ideology but it is due to fear. People there will get to know that they have agreed for alliance due to fear and out of anxiety. BJP will certainly be benefited by it," said Vijaywargiya, a prominent face of the party in Madhya Pradesh.

To a question on Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh, he said the scandal is "small" as compared to those done by Congress.

"Congress has done many big scams. This (Vyapam) is small as compared to them. We exposed the scam. We got it investigated. Whatever action was to be taken, we took it. Our intentions are clean. As far as the scam is concerned it is very small, Congress has done scams worth lakhs and crores," said Vijaywargiya, party's MLA from Madhya Pradesh's Ambedkar Nagar--Mhow, constituency.

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