A 24-year-old CPM member from Kolkata has complained against a Rajya Sabha MP from the party to West Bengal CPM secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra, following a row between the two. Sumit Talukdar is a junior member of the party and an IT professional living in Bangalore for the past one-and-half years.
It all started with a Facebook post on CPM RS MP Ritabrata Banerjee which surfaced on the internet and didn't go down well with the more idealistic party members. The communist party MP was photographed wearing an Apple watch and using a using a Mont Blanc Meisterstuck pen which costs upwards Rs 30,000.
The post, which was not made by Talukdar, sarcastically captioned the picture with the following line: "the great leader of the have-nots'.
Now Talukdar is part of a private Facebook group comprising other CPM members on Facebook. When the issue of this photo surfaced on that group, Talukdar made some comments on Banerjee, which of course, were not entirely flattering.
When the issue of this photo surfaced on that group, Talukdar made some comments on Banerjee, which of course, were not entirely flattering.
When these comments were brought to Banerjee's notice, he didn't take to it kindly. So, he posted on his Facebook page that he will lodge an FIR against these people. In his own Facebook post, Banerjee said: "I will take necessary legal steps. Going to Delhi tomorrow morning. Will lodge d FIR wd d desired authorities. Thanks for d intimation. I know d frustrated kingpins behind."
The story gets more twisted from here. Not only did Banerjee contemplate filing an FIR against people displeased with a communist leader wearing an Apple watch, an email landed in Talukdar's employer's inbox, allegedly from Banerjee.
The email, apparently, was a veiled threat where the sender told the employer that he would be lodging an FIR against Talukdar with the Delhi Police. The email also said that 'legal steps' will be taken against Talukdar. The opening line of the email, according to reports, read: "This is Ritabrata Banerjee, Member of the Upper House of the Indian Parliament."
It went on to complain that one of the company's employee was making 'hate speeches' and was trying to 'malign' him on social media and urged the employers to 'look into the matter'. The email signed off with Banerjee's name and a phone number.
The email, apparently, was a veiled threat where the sender told the employer that he would be lodging an FIR against Talukdar with the Delhi Police.
We called on the same number. It was indeed Banerjee's number and he took our call. However, he neither denied, nor confirmed that the email id was his. He refused to acknowledge the mail. All he said was, "I don't know anything about what you're talking about."
Talukdar, why chooses to call Banerjee 'Comrade' and not even a little in jest, said that his employers discussed the issue with him. And apparently, after the first email, Banerjee sent another email to the company asking them to not take any action against Talukdar. "Later, another email was sent by Comrade Ritabrata, where he requested my company head to ignore his last email and not initiate any action against me, as there was some miscommunication and misunderstanding regarding the matter. However, the intended damage had already been done," Talukdar wrote in the letter to the CPM party authorities.
He also wrote that while Banerjee is attacking him for having an opinion, the CPM, ironically, has been regularly criticising other parties over "intolerance", "freedom of speech", "right to criticise".
"Now, an MP and a party member has actually proven himself vindictive enough to destroy my means of employment because of what he assumes is 'hate speech' and 'intent to malign'... a member of the Communist party has actually tried to use his clout as a Rajya Sabha MP to influence my employer to take action against me... This was a deliberate attempt to influence my employer using his constitutional position solely for his personal gain," Talukdar's complaint read.
Talukdar also mentioned in his complaint to the party authorities that he would be forced to take legal action due to the attack on his "sole means of survival". When contacted by HuffPost India, Talukdar refused to comment on the matter. CPM party sources said that the matter has been taken seriously and it will be thoroughly probed.
CPM state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said he was in Burdwan district of West Bengal on a party programme, and would inquire once he was back in Kolkata.
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