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Report on attack by Seth ‘loyalists’

Feb. 19: The CPM today set the ball rolling for action against former MP Lakshman Seth by taking a report from the East Midnapore unit on yesterday’s attack on senior leaders in Tamluk, but many in the party questioned the timing of the move.

Prashanta Pradhan, the acting secretary of the party’s district unit, submitted the report to state secretary Biman Bose today.

Yesterday, three senior leaders from Calcutta, including two probing complaints of financial irregularities against an NGO Seth heads, were allegedly assaulted by suspected loyalists of the former MP in East Midnapore.

CPM sources said senior leaders such as Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee were in favour of stern action against Seth, who has written to Bose apparently saying he does not want to renew his party membership.

“This is not the first time Seth has embarrassed the party. He is an accused in the 2007 Nandigram recapture case. But still, he was given a ticket for the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. What’s the point of forming an inquiry panel now?” a CPM state committee member said.

“We are heading towards a tough election. Seth has lost his position in the party. What’s the point of a probe by the party now?” he asked.

A CPM source said Seth had some clout in East Midnapore. “Yesterday, the protesters demanded that the inquiry panel be folded up and Seth be renominated for the Tamluk Lok Sabha seat. Such demands raise the suspicion that he had a role in the agitation,” he said.

Another source said most CPM leaders did not like the way Seth ran the party in East Midnapore. “But we have to consider the fact that the Lok Sabha elections are nearing and action against Seth could create problems,” he said.