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Somnath renewed CPI(M) membership

Special Correspondent

New Delhi: Somnath Chatterjee, MP, continued to renew his membership of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) annually and right up to the current year, as per the party constitution, after being elected Speaker of the Lok Sabha in 2004. This was confirmed by an official CPI(M) spokesman today in response to a question by The Hindu.

After the trust vote, the CPI(M) Polit Bureau expelled Mr. Chatterjee from primary membership of the CPI(M) for “seriously compromising the position of the party.” He had refused to step down as Speaker, as the party wanted him to do, before the vote.

‘Somnath to quit active politics’

Kolkata Special Correspondent reports:

Mr. Chatterjee is contemplating retiring from active politics and spending his time doing social work, according to his one-time party colleague, Saifiuddin Choudhury, who called on the Lok Sabha Speaker here on Tuesday.

“Mr. Chatterjee, who looked hurt and crestfallen over the recent developments, indicated that he would retire from active politics and take up social work in the future,” Mr. Choudhury, a former CPI(M) MP who was expelled from the party in 2000, told The Hindu.

Mr. Chatterjee was not available for comment. “He is not speaking to the media,” an associate said. He added that Mr. Chatterjee would be “issuing a statement soon.”

The Speaker arrived in Kolkata on Monday on a personal visit.

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