CPM leaders swot up on football

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/p/prakashkarat.jpg' class='caption'> Did the CPI(M) get the timing of its central committee meeting in Hyderabad wrong?

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:34 IST
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Did the CPI(M) get the timing of its central committee meeting in Hyderabad wrong? Possibly yes, because though the Marxist leaders are physically present here discussing national politics, their hearts and minds are on World Cup soccer. "Obviously the most favourite sport is football. I am sure all of them will watch it tonight,'' Prakash Karat, General Secretary, CPI(M). "In the lobby and during lunch time, we are discussing because the matches are going to start at 9:30 after the meeting,'' said BV Raghavulu, AP State Secretary, CPI(M). Marxists take their politics seriously. They take their football equally seriously. "Most of us being from Bengal and Kerala, it is almost religion for us. We will be condemned in the community if we are not talking about football,'' said Nilotpal Basu, CPI(M) Central Committee member. Bengal, Kerala lobbies Arguments between the Bengal and the Kerala lobby on who will win the World Cup are subdued. "The Bengal lot roots for Brazil. Brazil also has an edge even among the Kerala lot. Regarding Argentina, I think M A Baby is a supporter,'' said Basu. "We have our politics. On that there is absolute unity. But on these matters, there is absolute freedom,'' said Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) Politburo member. The next one month, life will revolve around football for most CPI(M) leaders. "Since we are here, I miss my family otherwise we see it together," said Mohammed Salim, Central Committee member. "I live in a state where we have 14 to 16 hour long power cuts so it is very difficult for us to follow anything on TV," Subhashini Ali, Central Committee member. The Congress will hope that in this sports season, the Marxists will be sporting even when it comes to sorting out contentious issues.

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