The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Somnath sees master stroke

Chennai, June 6 (PTI): CPM leader Somnath Chatterjee considers the Prime Minister’s remark about his deputy, .K. Advani, leading the BJP to poll victory a “master stroke to consolidate his position in the party”.

Although Chatterjee said the remark was an “internal matter” of the BJP, he could not help saying that party president M. Venkaiah Naidu was now “working overtime” to be “loyal” to Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Speaking at a news conference here, Chatterjee said this was evident from the way Naidu was going all out to say Vajpayee was the “unquestioned leader” of the BJP.

Congress secretary Satyajit Gaikwad, who met reporters at Meenambakkam airport on his arrival here today, fielded questions on the same subject.

He said the BJP was known for its “doublespeak”. “They have the habit of not only confusing people, but also their own rank and file.”

Yesterday, Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma had described his party’s assessment of the recent contradictory statements by senior BJP leaders as an “unmistakable power struggle” between vikas purush Vajpayee and lauh purush Advani.

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