By Ashutosh Roy
The writing is on the wall. The red wily Marxist fox, Harkishen Singh Surjeet, general secretary of the CPI(M), is all set to hand over charge. Prakash Karat, the politburo member of the Marxist outfit will take over from “Papaji.” The change of guard in CPI(M) is expected to take place during its party Congress to be held in the Capital in February. In his long innings, lasting over three decades, Surjeet has made the CPI(M) Congress friendly. Years back, it was Surjeet, Karat and Sitaram Yechuri, who hounded out the rising CPI(M) star, Saifuddin Chaudhury. Saifuddin was the first of the Marxists, who wanted CPI(M) to join hands with the Congress. Branding Saifu-ddin as the “stooge of Congress” the CPI (M) top brass got together to get him expelled.
Today, Yech-uri and Surjeet, have crossed all the red-barriers and stepped over Saifuddin’s body to embrace the Congress. And it is all in the name of fighting communal forces. The Marxists, who have not yet been able to step out of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, intend to rule the country by the backdoor. While supporting the Congress led UPA, it also criticizes its policies. The Marxists howl, the Marxists growl. Occasionally they threaten to bite! But at the end of the day, realizing their toothless stature, the red hyenas return to their lairs.
Karat is all set to take over. What happens to the dreamy-eyed self styled intellectual, comrade Sitaram Yechuri? Yechuri, is CPI(M)’s face to the world, through television. The race for the top slot in CPI(M) had always been between Karat and Yechuri. While Yechuri had sped off like the legendary rabbit, Karat slowly but steadily breasted the tape. Often clad in a kurta and with his “I know it all” look, Yechuri has emerged as the closest ally of Sonia Gandhi. And for being close to the power, Yechuri paid his price.
CPM’s BJP Tsunami
Reading the People’s Democracy, the CPM’s daily, one would think that an intellectual tsunami has hit them. When millions were mourning the death of their kith, kin and livelihood, the CPM exhibited the vulgar level to which it has descended in cheap political abuse. It said tsunami was the “culmination of a legacy of hate and destruction that we, the Indian people, unitedly and finally overcame in the political sphere 2004.”
It said it was not seeing tsunami as an ominous sign for the future but as an end of all that evil. The leadership in CPM, especially the ones waiting to wear the crown patted the paper, saying it was countering the BJP. Pray in what way?
Nilotpal Basu, one of their senior leaders even “explained” the idea. He said the sentence has to be read in figurative sense. He said the people of the country had suffered “the tsunami of hatred for five years under the NDA regime.” His figurative somehow does not seem to figure out, considering that the BJP won nearly the same number of seats as the Congress, which is heading the coalition, under whose protective wing the CPM is basking today.
His ambition to take over from Surjeet was dashed. The CPI(M) politburo members from Kerala, West Bengal and even Andhra Pradesh (Yechuri’s home state), made it categorically clear that “Yechuri cannot be our man.” For them, “Yechuri could not be trusted.” According to reports appearing in a section of media, Yechuri had made a feeble attempt to position himself for the top slot. To his utter shock, he found himself without any support. According to sources, a beleaguered Yechuri cried on the shoulders of a “close friend” in CPI. And while sharing his “grief” to his “friend” in CPI, Yechuri also flayed the CPI(M) for blocking his entry to Rajya Sabha. As the story goes, it was Sonia Gandhi, who offered a Rajya Sabha nomination to Yechuri from Andhra Pradesh. Sensing that the top slot was reserved for Karat.
Yechuri, also “tired of running from one television channel to the other” wanted to enter the Upper House. Once again, the CPI(M) leaders and the politburo members stood in his way. “He was angry, very angry”, Yechuri’s CPI friend, told anyone, who cared to listen. “Why should he play a second fiddle to Karat all his life!” fumed Yechuri’s friend. According to some newspaper reports, Karat is regarded as “ideologically pure.” What then is Yechuri? In Marxist corridor, the latest on Yechuri is, “Sitaram Kesri ke baad Sitaram Yechuri (After Sitaram Kesri, its Sitaram Yechuri).” There were also reports of how Yechuri in a dinner thrown by the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, kept flouting his proximity to Mrs G. He also reportedly kept bragging, how he “advised” the cabinet ministers. Sources also said that after the CITU general secretary, M.K. Pandhe launched a blistering attack on the Centre, it was Yechuri, who tried to initiate a move to get the CITU leader expelled. The move never took off. Finally Yechuri, tried to activate some CPI leaders to mount pressure on the CPI(M) to silence Pandhe and his repeated outbursts against Congress and the Centre, sources said. The story of the Marxist players in Delhi, however, cannot be completed without mentioning the “joker in the pack”. And that’s Nilotpal Basu alias Nilu. He leads the Left’s shouting brigade in Rajya Sabha. Unlike some of the Left leaders, Nilu “loves all the good things in life”, some CPI(M) functionaries said. Nilotpal is known as the “joker in the pack”, since he is utilized by the party to yell, hop, skip and jump and make a lot of sound signifying nothing, in Rajya Sabha. Nilotpal loves the media. Even after his briefings in Parliament are over, he would hang around in the corridor trying to attract media attention! He would even distribute his cigarettes to the scribes, for lending him their ears! Nilu is reportedly an expert in telecommunication. His love and interest in telecommunication have often raised eyebrows. But then over the years, Nilotpal has learnt to keep his bosses happy. The “joker in the pack” has seen the fate of Saifuddin. Nilotpal knows, he would survive in the red-world, as long as he continues to play the “joker,” a CPI(M) leader stubbed his cigarette.