Divorce in offing
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Divorce in offing
The parting of ways between the Congress and the TMC seems imminent. Pranab Mukherjee recently visited Kolkata to canvas votes for the presidential election but he confined himself to meeting CPI (M) members and did not make any overtures to Mamata Banerjee's party. As things stand, it seems unlikely that Banerjee will instruct her party members to vote for Pranabda, even though Banerjee is aware that several TMC legislators may defy her order and vote for a fellow Bengali. The TMC has also not been sounded about the choice of Hamid Ansari as the UPA's vice presidential candidate. Banerjee considers Ansari the CPI(M)'s nominee. It could be the Congress, rather than the TMC, which might bring matters to a head. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is determined to introduce certain economic reforms regardless of Banerjee's objections. The Congress is counting on Mulayam Singh and the Left parties to ensure the government's survival. Sitaram Yechury has met Sonia Gandhi several times.
Too clever by half
A number of Congress persons rushed to their dictionaries to look up the meaning of "cameo" after Salman Khurshid, in an interview to The Indian Express, commented that Rahul Gandhi had thus far only offered cameos of his thoughts. They were relieved to find that "cameo'' simply means a brief role and not a comic role as they had first assumed. Nevertheless, Khurshid is in the doghouse for speaking out of turn about a member of the party's first family. Many in the Congress point out that it is always the ones who have the fanciest educational backgrounds and flaunt their superior knowledge of English, like Mani Shankar Aiyar, Kapil Sibal and Jairam Ramesh, who suffer from foot-in-the-mouth disease. Others in the party are, however, convinced that Khurshid's was not an innocent remark but part of a plan to try and arrange things so that Rahul Gandhi takes a back seat and Priyanka Gandhi emerges as the main vote-getter for the party in the next general election.
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