The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dos & don’ts to stem Left rot

Calcutta, Sept. 22: The CPM state leadership today unveiled a 13-point code of conduct to check corruption in the party.

It has resolved to take stringent disciplinary action against errant workers if they fail to provide satisfactory explanation for disproportionate income and assets. The leadership has also made it mandatory for party members to submit accounts of their income and expenditure every three months.

“Though 98 per cent of our party MPs, MLAs and other functionaries do submit accounts on a regular basis, we want the system to be more accurate,” Anil Biswas, the CPM state secretary, said.

Party workers have been ordered not to raise funds without cash receipts. They have also been asked to spend these funds judiciously.

The list of dos and don’ts applies to activists right from the grassroots to the party secretariat, the apex body at the state level.

Copies of the 13-point code of conduct were released this afternoon at the CPM headquarters at Alimuddin Street.

The CPM’s rather belated move to stem the rot appears to have been prompted by a string of incidents, the most prominent among them being an MLA’s insistence on backing a murder accused.

Rajdeo Goala, the party MLA from Belgachia (West) and also a state committee member, had continued extending support to the expelled zonal committee member of Dum Dum, Dulal Banerjee, despite his involvement in two murders.

Much to the embarrassment of the Alimuddin Street mandarins, Goala and some party leaders from Dum Dum had even organised street-corner meetings and processions to protest the police action against Banerjee, who was awarded life imprisonment and is now languishing in jail.

Briefing reporters about the guidelines, Biswas regretted that some party leaders were being indulgent towards “unwanted elements” in the organisation.

When asked if the party would take disciplinary action against Goala, Biswas was evasive. “We are not concerned about a single man. Instead, we are careful about all our party leaders across the state,” he added.

Later, former chief minister Jyoti Basu told a rally at Uttarpara that the CPM would not hesitate to drive out corrupt workers. “Ours is the only organisation which can take action against the guilty, no matter how powerful he is.”

Basu was in Uttarpara to kick off the Left Front’s campaign for the forthcoming by-elections.

Reprimanding party leaders for their extravagant lifestyle, Biswas said: “We have to prevail on those leaders so that they can once again embrace the austere life of a communist.”

The CPM state secretary encouraged party workers to speak out against those involved in unfair practices. “Our endeavour is to ensure discipline in the organisation so that partymen stick to Marxist ideals.”

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