Thursday, July 29, 2010

Somnath book heaps praise on Sonia, PM

Brickbats for his former comrades and bouquets for rivals. Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee's tell-all has infuriated the CPM leadership for his harsh criticism of the way he was expelled, but what could enrage Prakash Karat and Co further is his praise for leaders of other parties, especially the Congress leadership of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Chatterjee has devoted a whole chapter of his autobiography, Keeping The Faith: Memoirs of a Parliamentarian  to ‘Colleagues And Comrades' in which he talks about, among others, BJP leaders Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L K Advani and Jaswant Singh, and JD(U) leader George Fernandes as fellow travellers in politics. The much awaited book, published by HarperCollins India, is scheduled for release on August 21 in New Delhi by the PM, seen as the man behind the Indo-US nuclear deal. Chatterjee was expelled from CPM in July 2008 for defying the party whip and refusing to vote in the nuclear-deal debate in Parliament.

Interestingly, he deals little with Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who first came to the limelight by defeating Chatterjee in the 1984 Lok Sabha elections. The former Speaker mentions an episode in Lok Sabha involving Mamata, when she had flung a bunch of papers at the chair. But he refers to her repeatedly as "a member" without naming her even once.

Full report here Times of India 

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