While CPM leaders were reluctant to comment on Monday’s exit poll results, senior party leader Sitaram Yechury found an interesting way to express his party’s opinion of such polls. He recollected a cartoon drawn by R K Laxman when psephology and opinion polls had just begun in India. Talking about the cartoon, he recounted how an upset husband came home to tell his wife that he had wrongly stamped the ballot paper. Before his wife could express her anger, he added that she should not worry as he had given his correct choice when asked during the exit poll after voting. The cartoon, it seems, adequately describes the CPM’s take on the veracity and accuracy of exit polls.
Matter of choice
A sofa, set to be delivered at the retirement home of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Motilal Nehru Marg, caused a flutter of sorts for the Central Public Works Department. It seems the sofa cover chosen by PM’s wife Gursharan Kaur was not used at all and some other colour was put on it. When the sofa was brought to the house, the mismatch was noticed by the PM’s wife and it was decided to replace it immediately.
Outgoing PM Manmohan Singh got a unique farewell gift from National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon at a high tea organised for all senior PMO officials at 7 RCR. The PM was presented with a map of the world, with all nations marked out where he travelled as the head of government. Nations with which special bilateral ties were established were marked more prominently.
Final day’s plans
Details have been worked out for the government’s last day in office with the final cabinet meeting being scheduled in 7 RCR after the results are announced Friday. Following the meeting, the PM shall go and submit his resignation to the President. The President is also slated to host a dinner for the council of ministers as the final send off.
Before the election results on May 16, predicted to be the worst ever for the Congress, top leaders and ministers would gather on Wednesday at Sonia Gandhi’s residence for a farewell dinner for PM Manmohan Singh. A momento signed by all the Congress Working Committee members would be handed over to Singh to express their appreciation for his stewardship of the UPA government for a decade. It is another matter that Congress leaders are now busy finding faults with his leadership as they brace for a possible rout. Officially, from the AICC podium, the party lavished praise on Singh acknowledging his contributions. The dinner over, the party will gear up for the verdict. All the spokespersons and some senior leaders would brainstorm Thursday to prepare the party’s line of defence on the counting day.