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Buddha to skip start
Bhattacharjee

Vijayawada, Aug. 6: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee may skip the open session to be addressed by Prakash Karat at the start of the extended CPM central committee meeting, party sources said.

“Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is preoccupied with administrative work. Moreover, he needs to make a break journey so he doesn’t get fatigued. He may not make it to the one-hour open session tomorrow morning,” said Andhra Pradesh CPM state secretariat member V. Srinivasa Rao, who is overseeing the preparations for the meeting.

After the open session, the members will get a 30-minute tea break, following which the closed-door session will begin, Rao said. “Bhattacharjee will arrive in the afternoon and participate in the extended central committee session.”

The chief minister is expected to reach Vijayawada a little after noon. By then, the 10.30-11.30am open session will be over.

According to a party source, Bhattacharjee is staying in Hyderabad tonight and will take a late-morning flight from there to Vijayawada tomorrow.

In the past, the chief minister has stayed away from politburo meetings in Delhi because of “fever and chest infection’’.

In recent years, he has cut down on his visits to the capital and avoids taking long flights or making long train journeys.

According to central committee members, this time Bhattacharjee didn’t want to undertake a “long journey from Calcutta to Vijayawada’’. “The distance is good reason for him to make a night stopover at Hyderabad. He didn’t want to make a long journey,” a leader said.

Tripura chief minister and politburo member Manik Sarkar arrived today along with other state leaders.

However, a suspense hangs over Kerala chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan’s participation. According to a party leader, the 87-year-old leader is suffering from “acute joint pain’’. “We have still not got a confirmation that he will attend. He is an octogenarian and is undergoing ayurvedic treatment,” the leader said.

Around 380 delegates from across the country will participate in the meeting, of which over 80 are from Bengal and Kerala and another 36 from Tripura, CPM sources said.

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