The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Trinamul suspends rebel Ghosh

Calcutta, June 30: The Trinamul Congress today suspended MLA Dipak Ghosh for opposing the party’s decision to boycott the Assembly.

In a letter addressed to his leader, Mamata Banerjee, Ghosh had also opposed her decision to quit as railway minister. The legislator from Mahishadal had circulated the letter among party MLAs, asking them to oppose some of their leader’s decisions.

The Trinamul disciplinary committee met this afternoon at legislator Subrata Bakshi’s Bhowanipore residence. The party was more or less decided on dropping Ghosh yesterday but put off the final decision. Today’s meeting, however, did not decide the tenure of the suspension.

Ghosh called the suspension “unexpected”. He said he was yet to receive any intimation from the party.

“How can the disciplinary committee suspend a party member. They can only recommend it. The highest leaders can endorse or reject the recommendation,” said Ghosh.

Bakshi and the rest of the committee —Biman Banerjee, Mukul Roy and Partha Chatterjee — started the meeting around 3 pm. For about two hours, it went through Ghosh’s letter and his reply to the showcause notice. “We have already informed leader of Opposition in the Assembly Pankaj Banerjee, Trinamul chief whip Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay and Speaker Hashim Abdul Halim about the suspension,” said Chatterjee, also an MLA.

Questioning the procedure followed in disciplining him — from serving the showcause notice to his suspension this evening — Ghosh said he was “disappointed”. “In any trial, the accused gets time to defend himself. I sent my reply to the showcause at 2 pm. The notice served on me could not pin-point my fault. It was vague,” said Ghosh.

The former bureaucrat, however, said he was very much a member of the party and would abide by its decisions. “I don’t think I will now attend the Assembly. Even if I am suspended, I am very much a member of the party and will go by its decisions,” he added. In his reply to the notice, Ghosh had demanded that he be given an opportunity to be present in person and speak in his defence.

Trinamul circles viewed the development as a calculated move to silence rumblings in the party against Mamata’s functioning.

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