Karat snaps at media as government totters (Political Prattle)

July 4th, 2008 - 8:58 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 4 (IANS) Journalists filled every inch of space that was available in the auditorium on the first floor of the CPI-M headquarters Friday to hear from Prakash Karat his final verdict on the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. Karat looked grimmer than ever before.

Journalists careened from side to side to catch a better glimpse of Karat. Camerapersons and reporters elbowed each other to get a more attractive profile of the man who was about to spell the doom for the Manmohan Singh government.

In the past Karat would have looked at the jostling, sweaty faces with benevolent indulgence. But the present was full of foreboding, and Karat had lost his indulgent spark.

As journalists’ clamour drowned the voices of the Left leaders on the podium, Karat snapped: “If you cannot keep quiet, we are not going to speak.” For once not even a fleeting smile crossed his face.

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One liners from Venkaiah

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader M. Venkaiah Naidu has been sharpening his sense of humour, at the expense of his political adversaries of course, in these times of crisis.

On Thursday, when all eyes were on the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA), Naidu was stringing out his trademark one-liners for the benefit of the media at his Aurangzeb Road residence.

“UNPA is a temporary parking place - union of non-performing assets,” he quipped.

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Yechury in a sulk?

Sitaram Yechury, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member, is looking wan and a bit disenchanted these days.

In the last few weeks he has gone off the centrestage of public attention. Yechury’s senior and party general secretary Prakash Karat - who always cut a dissonant chord with Yechury - is the one soaking up the high voltage media attention.

Yechury, Left sources say, is going through a difficult phase, apparently because he does not want the Manmohan Singh government to exit before time.

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Flinging epithets

The days of secular camaraderie between the Congress and the Left to stall the BJP’s ascendancy to power are becoming ancient folklore. Both sides, appalled by each other’s behaviour, have descended to calling each other names.

In fact, each is calling the other ‘communal’ - the worst political epithet in their lexicon. Even worse, the Samajwadi Party, once under the tutelage of Harkishen Singh Surjeet, the former CPI-M general secretary, is pleading with the Left not to allow communal forces to come to power! The BJP is enjoying it all.

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