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Suspended Basu leads CPM rally

Chinsurah, May 22: Hooghly district CPM leadership today described Anil Basu, as an “asset of the party” even when the party top brass suspended him for three months on April 29 on grounds of anti-party activities.

Basu, the former CPM MP from Arambagh, today was among those who led a procession of party workers in Chinsurah that was brought out demanding that the party workers who had fled home in the face of alleged atrocities unleashed by Trinamul Congress after last year’s Assembly polls and later attended a party meeting.

Asked how a suspended party leader could take part in such a procession and public meeting, Hooghly CPM secretary, Sudarshan Roy Chowdhury, however, feigned ignorance. “I don’t know that Anil Basu has been suspended. I think he has not been suspended. People like him is an asset of the party,” said Roy Chowdhury.

After state party secretary Biman Bose announced the suspension of Basu on April 29, the former CPM MP’s wife Sabita on May 4 had threatened to file a defamation case against Bose accusing him of tarnishing her family’s image. The move had come in the wake of media reports that the Arambagh leader was suspended because of involvement in corruption.

Asked why Basu’s wife had threatened to file the case against Biman Bose, Roy Chowdhury said, “I will not make any comments on the matter.

According to a CPM state secretariat member, the state leadership does not want to play up the “Anil episode” as the panchayat elections are due next year and that Basu has a following among the rank and file in the Arambagh, Khanakul and Goghat areas of the district.

“A four-member inquiry commission was set up to investigate into Anil Basu’s anti-party activities and his alleged role in the CPM-run Hooghly zilla parishad’s medicine purchase scam. The commission had recommended disciplinary action against him on the basis of which steps were taken,” the secretariat member said.

“However, with our Hooghly district organisation not on a solid footing since last year’s assembly elections, we have decided not to play up the suspension issue. This is also because of the impending panchayat polls and given the sway Anil Basu has over the organisation in Arambagh subdivision,” the secretariat member added.