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Differences over Congress-CPI(M) alliance in WB; senior leader expelled

NEW DELHI: Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Jagmati Sangwan walked out of a Central Committee meeting here on Monday to register her opposition to the seat adjustment with the Congress in West Bengal and announced her “resignation.”

A file photo of AIDWA general secretary Jagmati Sangwan.

She was promptly expelled from the primary membership of the party for indiscipline.

Ms. Sangwan got up in the middle of the final session presided over by Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and said she wanted to resign. Mr. Sarkar told her to wait as the session was on. But she left the meeting immediately and announced to the media outside that she had resigned from the party.

“She left the meeting midway and said outside that she had resigned. What can anyone do after this?” CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury later said at a press conference.

“I had asked why the word “violation” was not there in the statement referring to the tactical line adopted in Bengal,” Ms. Sangwan, who has also been associated with All-India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), told The Hindu over the phone.

The Central Committee itself reiterated the line that the seat adjustment in Bengal was not in consonance with its decision not to have an alliance or understanding with the Congress.

“This should be rectified and the Central Committee stressed the importance of adhering to the political-tactical line adopted by the 21 Congress of the party,” the CPI (M)’s press release said.

The issue did generate heat at the three-day conclave.

The matter was raised by members, including Ms. Sangwan, over two days.

Mr. Yechury said at his press conference that the Central Committee had authorised the Polit Bureau to ensure the implementation of the party’s electoral tactical line.

The party expressed concern that the BJP had succeeded in gaining some ground in the recent Assembly polls and said the Modi government had made India the junior strategic partner of the United States.

Mr. Yechury said the CPI (M) units across the country would protest against inflation and unemployment from July 11 to 17.