Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Monday criticised the statement of Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee that the Left parties’ withdrawal of support to the Congress-led UPA government was a “mistake.”

Party general secretary Prakash Karat said that by admitting his “pro-Congress stand,” Mr. Chatterjee exposed the high moral ground he took that the Speaker’s office was above party politics.

When contacted, Mr. Karat, who was campaigning in Andhra Pradesh, told The Hindu over telephone: “His [Mr. Chatterjee’s] support to the Congress-led government and his continuance as the Speaker are interconnected.”

Mr. Chatterjee’s move not to abide by the party’s directive to step down from his post ahead of the July 2008 trust vote led to his expulsion from the CPI(M).