Bardhan blocks brawl at briefing (Political Prattle)July 8th, 2008 - 9:23 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, July 8 (IANS) As political tensions peaked Tuesday and the Left parties got ready to withdraw support to the government, it was left to CPI leader A.B. Bardhan to separate two combative cameramen ready to hit each other as they tried to get as close as possible to Communist veterans on the podium. The venue was the auditorium of the A.K. Gopalan Bhavan - headquarters of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M). Packed like sardines, journalists were straining their ears to to hear Prakash Karat, the CPI-M general secretary, utter those words that would finally lead to the denouement of the lingering Congress-Left drama over the nuclear deal.
The Left leaders looked grim - the journalists fatigued - from tracking the events of the biggest political uproar since May 2004. Nerves were frayed. For 10 minutes the journalists sparred among themselves while the Left leaders waited their turn to speak.
In the pushing and elbowing that followed, two particularly hotheaded cameramen ignited a slanging match and would have come to blows - but for Bardhan’s speedy intervention.
The CPI general secretary strode up to the cameramen and separated them physically before they could do worse.
Laugh on - the Congress motto
Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs and senior Congress leader Vayalar Ravi has not lost his touch of humour in spite of the agonisingly long-drawn nuclear deal face-off between the Left allies and his party.
At a conference of Congress state secretaries Tuesday, Ravi told his party colleagues: “I have told my office to read the newspapers to see if the government was going to survive or not!”
Kingmaker’s blood pressure soars
The highs and lows of Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav’s blood pressure chart have become news after he anointed himself the saviour of the Congress-led coalition.
On Monday, television channels started “flashing” that Mulayam Singh had high blood pressure and had been admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
Rumours buzzed that he was suffering from a stomach ache and had to pop a pill to cure his “gastric problem”.
Amar Singh’s office said Mulayam - that is “netaji” - had gone for “routine check up” and “there is nothing to worry”. However Mulayam’s aide said he had gone to the hospital to meet “someone”.
Medical Superintendent D.K. Sharma said they had no knowledge about Mulayam Singh being admitted to the hospital or coming for a routine check-up. “The seems to be false news,” he said.
But he agreed that Mulayam did visit the hospital - thus bringing cheer to the news-hungry TV channels.
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