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CPI-M expels senior leader, staunch critic Mollah


Kolkata, Feb 26 :

The CPI-M Wednesday expelled veteran leader and former West Bengal minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah for “serious anti-party activities” and “belittling the party’s image in public”.

Abdur Rezzak Mollah
Abdur Rezzak Mollah

The decision to show the door to the senior legislator, who has won all nine assembly polls since 1972, was taken at a Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) state secretariat meeting during the day.

“It has been decided to expel Comrade Rezzak Mollah from the party for serious anti-party activity and for belittling the party’s image in public,” the party said in a statement.

Mollah, a CPI-M state committee member, Feb 23 launched “Social Justice Forum” – a pro-Dalit and minority outfit – which would contest the 2016 assembly polls.

For long vocal against his own party leadership, particularly politburo member and former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Mollah recently derided the “upper class hegemony” in the party and accused the erstwhile Left Front government of neglecting the welfare of Dalits and minorities of the state.

Mollah, a former land reforms minister, during his ministerial tenure openly protested the land acquisition procedure followed in Singur in Hooghly district for the Nano car plant of Tata Motors.

After the party-led Left Front was dethroned in the 2011 state assembly elections, Mollah ridiculed Bhattacharjee and then industries minister Nirupam Sen, chiefly blaming them for the defeat.

He continued to take pot shots at the leadership, and earned the party’s wrath after he went for Haj, something considered an anathema in a Communist party known for its atheist philosophy.

However, Mollah’s relations with the top leadership seemed to be improving after he was injured and hospitalised following an alleged attack by Trinamool Congress activists last year. Even Bhattacharjee went to see him at the hospital.

But Mollah again donned the dissenter’s hat when he criticised the party in the midst of the rural bodies polls last year.

He called for restructuring the organisation, saying the present middle-class leaders would not be able to cause a turnaround in the party’s fortunes by taking on the ruling Trinamool Congress.

“The problem is majority of our cadres are now prim and proper. We need people from the poorer sections who earn their living by breaking sweat,” Mollah said.

Late last month, Mollah lambasted his party for nominating student leader Ritabrata Banerjee as its candidate for the Feb 7 Rajya Sabha polls.

“His nomination proves that people even indulging in club culture can get nomination. When I entered the party, only after working in the labour and peasant wings could people rise in ranks. But now the party is full of middle and upper class people,” Mollah said.