We had no other option but expel Somnath: Karat

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{image-prakash karat_24072008.jpg news.oneindia.in}Hyderabad, Jul 24: Terming as ''unfortunate'' the CPI(M)'s decision to expel Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee from the party, its General Secretary Prakash Karat on Thursday, July 24 said the party was left with ''no other option''.

Talking to mediapersons here, Mr Karat, in his first reaction after the Polit Bureau yesterday expelled the veteran Marxist leader from the party for refusing to resign as Speaker ahead of the July 22 trust vote, said the CPI(M) Central Committee took a considered view that Mr Chatterjee should not continue in the high office after the party decided to withdraw support to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and joined the opposition to unseat the government.

Since Mr Chatterjee disagreed with the party's line of thinking, the Central Committee authorised the Polit Bureau to take an appropriate action, Mr Karat pointed out, adding, ''It is unfortunate that the party had to expel him.'' ''While it is for Mr Chatterjee to decide whether to continue as Speaker, it is for the party to decide whether he should continue in the party,'' he remarked.

Replying to a question, the party General Secretary said Mr Chatterjee could appeal to Central Control Commission for reconsidering the decision taken by the Polit Bureau.

The CPI(M), which extended outside support to the Manmohan Singh Government, accepted the Speaker's post and nominated Mr Chatterjee for it at the request of the UPA, he recalled, adding that he cannot continue in the post after the party withdrew support to the government.

Parrying questions on the role of the Speaker during the trust vote, Mr Karat said the party had delayed action for two days so that the confidence motion could be taken up.


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