M A I N   N E W S

Somnath offered post of Speaker
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 21
In a significant development, the Congress has offered the post of Lok Sabha Speaker to veteran CPI(M) leader Somnath Chatterjee and the party's Politburo is considering the issue before taking a final decision.

The move is seen as an attempt by the Congress to rope in the Left, which has 61 seats in the Lower House. The Left parties, which have decided to support the coalition government, have declined to be part of the government.

The CPM, which had rejected the offer to be part of the government, today indicated that it would consider Congress offer of Speaker post.

The offer was made by senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee to the CPM general secretary Harkishen Singh Surjeet during discussions on Friday. The CPM leaders indicated that the members of the Politburo would discuss the issue and take a final view on it.

Mr Chatterjee apart from the veteran parliamentarian is the face of the CPM in the House of the people. The party would weigh whether it could sacrifice such a forceful speaker, who could raise the issues concerning the Left in a forceful manner, to manage the affairs of the House.


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