In a first, Communist Party Marxist (CPM) in Bengal, suspended its Rajya Sabha parliamentarian Ritabrata Banerjee for three months from party, irked by his showy public appearance.
The 38-year-old MP is acknowledged for being competent, but his taste for lavish lifestyle is opposed to party ideology of austerity, said sources close to the West Bengal committee that met to finalise the decision.
It all started when Banerjee uploaded a picture of him flaunting a Mont Blanc pen and an Apple smart watch.
Another 24-year-old CPM worker sought information on how Banerjee paid for the gadgets.
The issue soon snowballed into social media debate and the photograph that contrasted with CPM’s down-to-earth image, became source of embarrassment for the party.
Banerjee’s public behavior, appearance and lifestyle were put to scrutiny and the central and state committee decided to curb his flamboyancy with a three months ouster from party activities.
Meanwhile the young MP claimed that Mont Blanc pen came as gift from senior politician and current Manipur governor Najma Heptulla and Apple was a complimentary on induction into Parliamentary Council.