CPM reads riot act to rebel trio
Winter sets in on millennium-eve

 
 
CPM READS RIOT ACT TO REBEL TRIO 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Dec 31 
The CPM top-brass on Friday cracked the whip on rebels demanding greater inner-party democracy and transparency.

The six-hour-long meeting of the CPM state committee saw Saifuddin Chowdhury being showcaused, Subhash Chakraborty being publicly reprimanded, and Samir Putatunda being pulled up in private.

“We could not have run the party here and elsewhere in the country if we had not taken this decision ,” state party secretary Anil Biswas told The Telegraph.

But chief minister Jyoti Basu adopted a soft stance against the rebels at the meeting. He even asked the leadership not to take any step which could lead to the exit of the trio from the party.

“Try and find out a meeting point for all shades of opinions in the party. We have got to work together,” Basu said.

Saifuddin Chowdhury refused to be silenced. “I will provide a fuller response to tonight’s development once I get a copy of the showcause,” he said. Chakraborty and Putatunda were not available for comment

One of the talking points of today’s CPM meeting was the presence of party general secretary Harkishen Singh Surjeet.

Saifuddin, Chakraborty and Putatunda have gone public with their “pro and no-changers” tussle within the party. But now, the hardliners have hit back, and that too in the presence of Basu and Surjeet.    


 
 
WINTER SETS IN ON MILLENNIUM-EVE 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Dec 31 
At last, Calcuttans can pull out their woollens. Winter is here.

And there’s everything official about it. The weather office has said the temperature dipped by one degree to 15.3°C on Friday. The mercury is expected to dip to around 14° C on the first day of the new millennium.

“Calcutta felt the first blast of the northerly wind from the Himalayas on Thursday. The easterly, which was earlier blowing from the direction of Bangladesh, has stopped. So winter has definitely set in,” said a met official.

The nip in the air has contributed to the festive mood. “I was beginning to wonder whether I would be able to bring out my Monte Carlo sweaters and Park Avenue blazers at all,” said Pranab Neogi, enjoying the evening chill on Park Street.

“There is no immediate possibility of cyclones, low pressures or depressions over the Bay of Bengal. We generally have depressions before December 20 and, thereafter, the skies clear up, making way for winter,” said a weatherman.    

 

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