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Parliament gets a facelift for special session


New Delhi : If political parties are getting ready for the crucial trust vote on July 22 that will decide the fate of the Manmohan Singh government, then so is parliament — a veritable army of workers is busy giving the building a fresh coat of paint and is furiously repairing damaged equipment.

Although maintenance work was to start next month before the monsoon session was to begin Aug 11, it has had to be advanced with the confidence vote scheduled for Tuesday.

But with hundreds of workers at it, it should all be over by the weekend, parliament officials said.

An estimated Rs.50 million is spent per annum for the maintenance of the majestic parliament house, which was designed by Herbert Baker and was opened in 1927. The circular structure is 27.4 metres high and spread over 2.02 hectares.


Manmohan’s photograph inspires Left!

In these times of political rivalries, this may sound strange. The headquarters of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the A.K.G Bhavan, has a new photograph right at its entry gate – Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with US President George W. Bush at the G8 meeting in Japan.

The photograph, which was published in all newspapers and periodicals and shows Bush leaning close to Manmohan Singh, has been placed beneath the bust of veteran communist leader A.K. Gopalan.

The photograph has also inspired the Communists to coin a new slogan —

“Manmohan Singh ka haath, Bush ke saath” (Manmohan Singh’s hand is with Bush). It is an obvious reference to the Congress’ slogan, “Congress ka haath, Aam admi ke saath” (The Congress hand is with the common man).

The symbol of the Congress party is the hand.

The slogan will be used during the CPI-M’s nationwide campaign to explain to the people why they withdrew support to the UPA government.


Amar Singh starts ‘irritating’ Congress

He may be their saviour, but some Congress leaders are frankly irritated by Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh’s frequent media briefings to clarify or counter statements made by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

They are also wary of Amar Singh and his known closeness to some business houses, which they fear may displease other corporates who have been traditionally close to the party.

“The business houses who have always been close to the party are wary of Amar Singh,” said one leader.