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Sitaram Yechuri indicates CPI(M) may take back Somnath Chatterjee

Kolkata(PTI): CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechuri on Wednesday indicated that former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee will be reinducted into the party from which he was expelled seven years ago, as the two leaders shared a dais in Kolkata.

“There are certain methodologies for such cases. Those methodologies are already taking place. You will get to know about it soon,” Yechuri told reporters on the sidelines of a programme here to mark the 102nd birth anniversary of party patriarch Jyoti Basu. Chatterjee shared dais with Yechuri along with Politburo members Biman Bose, Surjya Kanta Mishra and former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. CPI(M) expelled Somnath Chatterjee in July, 2008 after the then Politburo unanimously decided that he had seriously compromised the party’s position by refusing to step down as Lok Sabha Speaker.

Associated with CPI(M) for the past four decades, Chatterjee, a ten-time MP, assumed the office of Lok Sabha Speaker after UPA government came to power in mid-2004 and became the first Communist MP to be elected to the high post. After Left parties withdrew support to UPA government on July 9 that year over the Indo-US nuclear deal, Chatterjee remained determined to continue as Speaker, ignoring the party’s directive to resign.

A defiant Chatterjee had then said he was above party politics given the nature of the post of Lok Sabha Speaker. While addressing the programme, Chatterjee said he had been able to become the Lok Sabha Speaker only because of the party and remembered how Jyoti Basu himself had encouraged him to take up the job of the Speaker in 2004.

“When I became Speaker, Jyoti babu had told me that I need to set an example how a Communist performs well in parliamentary democracy also. I don’t know how I had performed but I had tried. There had been certain misunderstandings but I don’t want to talk about the past,” he said.

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