Bardhan backs CPM on Somnath ouster issue

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Kochi, Aug 1 (UNI) CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan today said the CPM had no option but to expel its Senior party Leader Somnath Chatterjee following his ''refusal to accept the party diktat to step down as the Lok Sabha Speaker before the vote of confidence last month.'' Addressing a meet-the-press organised by the Ernakulam Press Club here, Mr Bardhan said though Mr Chatterjee was a veteran CPM leader and a Parliamentarian of three-and-a-half decades' experience, for the party all members were equal.

''He was elected on the CPM ticket and continued to be a party member till recently. With all due respect to Somnath Babu, I think the CPM had no option.

''A party has to maintain discipline. For the party, everyone is equal,'' he added.


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