The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Enter Hamlet, exit Dalmiya

Calcutta, Aug. 1: Yesterday: the earth shook. Certainly the part called Bengal did, as “good” vowed to continue to fight “evil”.

Today: “There are more things in heaven and earth… ‘let’s go’ (this to the lift operator),” upon which the doors of the lift at Writers’ Buildings closed and exeunt Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

The doors actually closed within the CPM on the chief minister’s outburst at Jagmohan Dalmiya as the party recovered from the aftershocks of his statement — “He (Dalmiya) has to go.”

Bhattacharjee struck Hamlet’s philosophical pose after mock irritation. “Ooof! Shab samay ek katha bhalo lage na (Not that again).”

That was the cue for the unfinished famous quote from Hamlet that goes thus: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than dreamt of in your philosophy.”

The CPM had by then decided that there were more things in heaven and earth than Dalmiya. Jyoti Basu, who stoked the fire yesterday saying the chief minister’s outburst would be discussed in the party’s state secretariat, wasn’t taking any calls. State secretary Biman Bose had taken off for the districts.

The usual loose cannons, like Subhas Chakraborty, were still speaking because it’s hard to stop them.

Senior leaders like Bose, Madan Ghosh, Benoy Konar and industries minister Nirupam Sen had a long meeting with Bhattacharjee. “It was decided that no party leader or ministers would enter into any further verbal duel,” Konar told The Telegraph.

It is believed that his colleagues emphasised the obvious point to Bhattacharjee that the issue was too small for the party and the government.

Basu did not attend the meeting but made himself inaccessible. “The Dalmiya election issue needs to be resolved by the party at the earliest,” was the only comment he would make.

As sought by Basu, the chief minister’s statements on Dalmiya are expected to be discussed on the sidelines of the state secretariat meeting slated for Saturday.

“It cannot be expected to be a part of the agenda,” said Konar, “because the party has been saying all along that we are not concerned with the issue. However, if somebody wants to discuss, he can do that.”

There were rumours that the central leadership had talked to its state counterpart but CPM chief Prakash Karat said from Salem in Tamil Nadu: “I have not spoken to Basu or, for that matter, to anybody in Calcutta. I have been out of Delhi for two days. I don’t know what is going on there.”

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