Somnath meets Basu, keeps all guessing (Lead, Changing dateline)

July 13th, 2008 - 11:15 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

Kolkata/New Delhi, July 13 (IANS) Even as the Left parties were mounting pressure on Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to quit the post after they withdrew support to the government, the veteran Marxist leader Sunday met party veteran Jyoti Basu but kept everyone guessing about his decision. Chatterjee held an hour-long meeting with Jyoti Basu in Kolkata Sunday. He left without speaking to journalists after the meeting at Basu’s residence.

Chatterjee’s name, as a Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) MP, is included in the letter the four Left parties jointly presented to President Pratibha Patil Wednesday, formally withdrawing the support to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

In New Delhi, when asked to comment on Chatterjee, Communist party of India (CPI) general secretary A.B. Bardhan told reporters: “He is competent enough to decide on his own, taking into consideration all developments.”

CPI-M sources said the party would like him to resign from the post before the government seeks a trust vote in a two-day special parliament session July 21-22.

According to the sources, communist leaders met Chatterjee last week and urged him to consider quitting the post in the light of the communist parties’ withdrawal of support to the government.

CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat told a news conference earlier this week: “He (Chatterjee) will decide for himself and will take a decision.”

However, Chatterjee earlier said: “Leave it to me, I am still the speaker.”

Also, an official communiqu

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