Why did Gowda side with Mayawati? Ask the stars (Political Prattle)

July 21st, 2008 - 7:52 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leader and former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda rarely ignores the advice of his astrologer - and that seems to have been the case this time too! A Congress party leader says the reason why Gowda sided with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati - and not the ruling United Progressive Alliance - over the trust vote was because of his astrologer.

Citing an example, the leader said, Gowda had specifically requested a seven-minute meeting Sunday with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as per the advice of the astrologer.

Gowda’s son H.D. Kumaraswamy in fact wanted him to support the Congress and also made his mother speak to his father in this regard. But apparently, Gowda was “advised” by his astrologer not to side with the Congress.

Last known, the Congress was frantically looking for the astrologer!

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Rahul Gandhi to speak on Tuesday

The Congress Party seems to be way ahead of other parties as far as good speakers are concerned.

Opposition Leader L.K. Advani may have given a good performance during the debate on the trust vote Monday, but the Bharatiya Janata Party doesn’t have an impressive list of speakers in the Lok Sabha.

The same was true for the Communist Party of India-Marxist. Their most “promising” speaker was Mohammed Salim, who launched a scathing attack on the UPA, but others in his party were not considered “exciting enough”.

Well aware of this, the Congress has assembled an impressive array of speakers, starting with Finance Minister P. Chidarmbaram to Science and Technology Minsiter Kapil Sibal. Also, young leaders like Sachin Pilot have been roped in. These leaders are not only good orators but also understand their subject.

From the Gandhi family, instead of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, her son and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi will be speaking. He will do so Tuesday.

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Parliament session could extend to third day

It was being thought that the trust vote would be taken past midnight Tuesday. But what was meant to be a two-day parliament session could extend to a third day - as had happened in 1999 when the government of then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was toppled by a single vote.

One indication of this is that Lok Sabha TV, which is telecasting the proceedings live, has not scheduled any other programming till at least Wednesday afternoon.

Also, there seems to be no urgency on the part of Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee or the government or the opposition to conclude the debate in a hurry.

Chatterjee has repeatedly said he would give everyone a chance to speak. Then, the frequent interruptions, particularly during the post-lunch session Monday, were sure to have eaten into the time allocated for the debate - forcing an extension of the session to accommodate all those MPs listed to speak.

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Chatterjee chairs session all right

There was uncertainty in the Lok Sabha secretariat till the time the house assembled at 11 a.m. Monday over whether Chatterjee would chair the session.

One line of thought was that Chatterjee would announce his resignation from the speaker’s podium and then take his seat as an ordinary MP.

Thus, there was immense relief when he called the house to order.

But then, Chatterjee’s status was not the only thing worrying the secretariat. Burning the midnight oil, it has drawn up a Plan A and a Plan B depending on which way the trust vote goes.

Plan A has to do with the government winning the trust vote. Thereafter, the remaining portion of the monsoon session would have to be called. Plan B will come into operation if the government falls after losing the trust vote.

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Chatterjee feels freed of shackles

“Can’t have a running commentary when the leader of opposition is speaking,” rumbled an angry Somnath Chatterjee, rising from his seat, as members of parliament participating in the trust vote to decide the fate of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government hissed at each other.

The Lok Sabha Speaker looked smug presiding over the debate of the special session of parliament. And why not? He has managed to hang on to the speaker’s chair despite his Communist Party of India-Marxist’s (CPI-M) best efforts to make him quit the post.

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Shibu Soren snoozes as Advani speaks

The man who gave the Manmohan Singh government sleepless nights -Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren - was snoozing as leader of opposition and its prime ministerial hopeful Lal Krishan Advani took on the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

With his flowing beard and eyes shut to the world, Soren looked like he had slipped into a reverie dreaming of future prospects.

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Screech and be heard, feel some MPs

Some MPs believe that to make an impact in parliament, they have to screech.

One example was Brajesh Pathak, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP from Unnao. Hitting a high pitch, Pathak was unstoppable for a few minutes. It also became difficult to understand him.

Then Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal tried to cool down the heated MP. When nothing worked, a smiling Atwal told Pathak: “Please speak a bit softly. People will then be clearly able to hear you.”

This had the desired impact. Pathak promptly toned things down.

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