Somnath's expulsion-brazon affront to democracy: IMC

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Mumbai, 28 Jul (UNI) Indian Merchants' Chamber has condemned the CPM's action of expelling Speaker Somnath Chatterjee from the party, which he had served as a loyal member for over a quarter century.

In a statement condemning CPM's action, IMC President, Mr M N Chaini said, ''The action taken by the party chief Mr Prakash Karat pushes back the Indian liberal Parliamentary democracy by 70 years, to the savage Stalinist days of suppressing dissenting voices within the party ranks. One thought that the present-day Indian comrades had moved ahead in history, but evidently, we are mistaken.'' On the occasion of Mr Chatterjee's birthday, Mr Chaini wished him a long fruitful life in the service of the nation. He complimented him for the exemplary wayal in which he conducted the crucial Parliament session in a dignified, compassionate and democratic manner, especially when opposition parties had come determined to subvert the proceedings.

''Thanks to your integrity, Mr Speaker, their unholy attempts were foiled, and for this, you have earned the undying gratitude of our nation,'' Mr Chaini said.

The IMC President also lauded the Speaker for promptly ordering a probe into the allegations of bribery and horsetrading in return for cross-voting.

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