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Partyman Karat refuses to take credit

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 11 (UNI) It was yet another day in office for Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Prakash Karat after leading his party to victory in Kerala and West Bengal.

Karat was business-like when he addressed the national media with the twin victories under his belt though the A K G Bhavan, the party headquarters decorated with red flags, was a scene of jubilation.

Even the media-shy Karat's choice of words befitted his simple manners. He described the record seventh-straight win in West Bengal and two-thirds majority for the party after a long time in Kerala, just as ''very good results''.

''The CPI (M) worked collectively,'' he said while refusing to give credit to any individual for the spectacular wins. Some journalists who asked if he was responsible for the victories were mildly admonished.

His party workers, however, could not hold back their delight and burst crackers at the AKG Bhavan where sweets were distributed to journalists for the first time.

The elections were the first major test for the 56-year-old Karat, who was born in Myanmar and studied in the University of Edinburgh and Jawaharlal Nehru University, after taking over the reins of the party from the ageing Harkishan Singh Surjeet on April 11 last year.

Karat, who keeps the Manmohan Singh government guessing about the next move of its Left allies, said the victory was only a beginning and much work needed to be done.

''We are very earnest and serious about translating our manifestoes, commitments and promises made to the people,'' he said.

He, however, did not spare the Election Commission, which had come under fire from the CPI (M) for holding five-phased elections and banning graffiti in West Bengal, and sought a debate on reforms in EC.

UNI KSA/FZ JN DB1955

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