Left has become a ‘habit’ for Mukherjee (Political prattle)

July 11th, 2008 - 4:10 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) Old habits never die. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukheree realised it Friday. After the meeting of ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) allies at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh residence, Mukherjee came to brief the media. A relaxed looking Mukherjee began his briefing by saying: “Today we had a meeting of UPA and Left coordination committee!”

As everyone looked at him in disbelief, Mukherjee burst into laughter and said: “Aadat ban chuki hai (It has become a habit). What to do,” he said.

Friday’s UPA meeting was to discuss the ruling coalition’s strategy to overcome the crisis born out of Left’s withdrawal of support to the government.

Mukherjee, who heads the 15-member UPA-Left nuclear committee, used to brief the media after its meetings.


Leaving a window open for Communists!

It seems almost all the senior ministers are cautious in their choice of words when referring to the Communists even when they criticise the Left for their withdrawal of support to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh government.

A senior cabinet minister called a press conference Thursday to counter Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat’s allegation that the government has “hidden” the text of India-specific safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

But he was very careful in the words he used against the Communist leader. “We cannot talk much, because we do not know whether we have to join hands with them after the next election,” the minister said candidly, but off the record!


Manish Tewari’s tips on nuclear terrorism irk leaders

Manish Tewari, the new kid in the block, had earned many kudos for his “smart handling” of the media as the new spokesperson of the Congress party. However, his latest tips on nuclear terrorism appeared to have left many of his senior colleagues fuming.

On Wednesday, Tewari told reporters that the government could not divulge the details of the India-specific safeguards pact with the IAEA as it would lead to “nuclear terrorism” and would not be in national interest. But the very next day, the Ministry of External Affairs has posted the text of the pact on its website.

Tewari was red-faced when the journos asked him about the government move. Party sources said he was rebuked by senior leaders and has been told he should consult senior leaders before making major pronouncements.

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