Pressure mounts on Somnath to quit
Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Saturday came under mounting pressure from inside his party CPI(M) to quit the post in the wake of Left parties' withdrawal of support to the UPA Government.
Chatterjee, who has maintained that his post was above politics, is meeting party veteran Jyoti Basu in Kolkata tomorrow and may step down on Monday, party sources indicated. The CPI(M) is reportedly banking on Basu persuading Chatterjee to step down.
Though the CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat maintained a public posture that the party had not taken a decison that he should resign, enough hints had been sent to him to put in his papers in view of the new situation.
"No, that is not correct. There is no such decision as yet," Karat told PTI when asked whether the party has asked Chatterjee to step down and that he would quit on Monday.
On Wednesday, Karat had given ample hints of his intentions when he said that Chatterjee would decide on his own whether to resign from his post in the light of Left parties decision to withdraw support.
The Speaker was also not said to be very happy with his name being included in the Left parties' list of members given to President Pratibha Patil as those who have withdrawn support.