OK if Somnath campaigns for CPM, says Yechury
Asked whether CPM would take Somnath Chatterjee back into the party, Yechury said, "These are two different issues."
Kolkata: The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) on Friday said it has no problems if expelled party leader Somnath Chatterjee campaigns for its candidates in the West Bengal assembly polls. "If he wants to campaign, it's ok," said party politburo member Sitaram Yechury, addressing a media meet here.
Reacting to CPM leader Gautam Deb's invitation to Chatterjee to address a rally at Dum Dum in suburban Kolkata, Yechury said: "We are appealing to all sections of the masses to vote for us, to support us, and Somnath Chatterjee is also a part of the masses. We cannot omit him from the masses."
West Bengal Housing Minister and CPM central committee member Deb claimed on Thursday that Chatterjee will address an election rally in his constituency Dum Dum April 24. The former Lok Sabha Speaker has not turned down Deb's invitation, but said he would take a final decision in the next few days based on his health condition.
Chatterjee was expelled from the CPM in mid-2008 for presiding over the Lok Sabha trust vote in defiance of the party's diktat that he quit the Speaker's post after the party withdrew support to the Manmohan Singh government over the Indo-US nuclear deal.
Asked whether it would take Somnath Chatterjee back into the party, Yechury said, "These are two different issues altogether."
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