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CPM, wife wade into Kher battle

New Delhi, Oct. 15: The CPM today joined issue with ousted censor board chief Anupam Kher saying party general secretary Harkishen Singh Surjeet had not dubbed him an 'RSS man'.

Kher's wife Kiran added to the war of words, lashing out at Surjeet and promising that her family would fight it out.

A day after Kher announced he had sent a legal notice to Surjeet for allegedly dubbing him an 'RSS man', CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said the party general secretary had not called him this in his article in the CPM organ, People's Democracy.

Yechury, who is the editor of the mouthpiece, said here today Kher had been referred to 'as an appointee of the earlier government'. He said Kher's predecessor as censor board chief, Vijay Anand, had also been removed from his post before his term ended.

'The same thing was done to Vijay Anand and Kher was brought in. Therefore, he has been an appointee of that particular mindset,' he said.

Theatre personality Kiran Kher lashed out at Surjeet in Chandigarh over her husband's sacking. 'It's a political game played at the behest of Surjeet. The aim of the Congress leadership was to please Surjeet and bend to his dictates,' she said.

'There is no coordination between the Left and the Congress ' the main constituent of the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government ' at the central level. There is no system in the government and it is directionless,' Kiran added.

She said veteran actor Sharmila Tagore was a 'suitable personality' for the post of the new censor board chief, adding: 'I respect her and pray to the Almighty that she does not become the next victim of dirty politics.'

In Delhi, Yechury said the Left parties, which faced the brunt of the attack during the Emergency, would oppose 'anything to whitewash what happened then'. He was referring to Prasar Bharati's volte face on airing Prakash Jha's film on Jai Prakash Narayan because of 'objectionable parts' relating to the Emergency.

The CPM leader said: 'The right to show what happened at that point of time cannot be taken away.'

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