No Red Flag for 'Baba', Somnath Chatterjee's Son Asks Left Leaders to Leave, Says They Hurt Him
Even Somnath Chatterjee’s wife Renu Chatterjee had asked hospital authorities not to allow any CPI(M) leaders inside the facility to see the veteran leader.
Police personnel pay tribute to former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee during his funeral at State Assembly in Kolkata on Monday. (PTI Photo/Ashok Bhaumik)
Kolkata: Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee’s son Pratap Chatterjee could not contain his anger when he saw Left Front chairperson Biman Basu, CPI(M) state secretary Surya Kanta Mishra, party leader Sujan Chakraborty and other party leaders visiting Chatterjee’s Raja Basanta Roy Road residence in Kolkata on Monday evening.
Pointing fingers are the Communist leaders, Pratap was heard saying those who hurt his father (for expelling him from the party in 2008) would not be allowed inside the house. The Communist leaders left the place after paying floral tributes to their fellow comrade.
Later, Pratap addressed the media and said, “My father dedicated his entire life to the party but what he faced was only humiliation from its members and nothing else. Biman Basu hurt my father several times. He used to stay at my father’s house in Delhi whenever he was in the capital. They used my father, but never gave him the respect that he deserved.”
Somnath Chatterjee’s daughter Anushila, too, expressed her resentment against the party leaders who visited the family on Monday after the veteran politician passed away this morning at the age of 89.
She said, “CPI(M) offered a red flag to be placed on my father’s body but we refused. It was just a courtesy visit for them but we are not looking for such gestures. They hurt my father and I remember how he cried when the party expelled him in 2008. The saddest moment of his life was when he was expelled despite dedicating his entire life to the party.”
Even Somnath Chatterjee’s wife Renu Chatterjee had asked hospital authorities not to allow any CPI(M) leaders inside the hospital.
The family also refused to take the mortal remains of the veteran leader to the party headquarters at Alimuddin Street in Kolkata.
“As far as I know, the party tried, but failed. The failure happened due to some reasons,” said former CPI(M) minister Kanti Ganguly.
In 2008, Somnath Chatterjee was expelled from the party for refusing to resign as Speaker after the party withdrew support to the UPA-I government over the India-US nuclear deal.
Meanwhile, controversy erupted after CPI(M) Politburo in a statement, failed to highlight Chatterjee’s 40-year association with the party.
A senior party leader in Kolkata said, “They issued a statement which read just like a formality. Their letter read: CPI(M) Politburo expresses its grief and sorrow at the death of former Speaker and ten-time Member of the Lok Sabha, Somnath Chatterjee. Somnath Chatterjee was a veteran parliamentarian who played an important role in defending the foundations of the Indian Constitution particularly its secular democratic foundations and federalism. As an eminent lawyer by profession, he also took up the cause of the working class and the deprived to ensure justice is delivered to them.”
“I am astonished with the attitude of the Politburo,” he added.
However, the state CPI(M), in an official statement, referred to Somnath Chatterjee as ‘Comrade’ and a great leader.
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