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Power of Red

Power of Red

Author: Saurabh Shukla
Publication: India Today
Date: February 7, 2005

Delhi With the Left providing the crutches for the UPA Government, it is no surprise that the Union Government is out to please the red brigade. Recently, the fetish to flaunt a red passport led CPI(M) poster boy Sitaram Yechury to get a diplomatic passport-although getting one as a non MP and a non diplomat is a rarity, given stringent mea regulations. But External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh made an exception for Yechury and approved a diplomatic passport with a five-year validity. Holding the maroon coloured passport, which comes closest to red, is not only politically correct but also carries fringe benefits.

The power of red was also evident some months ago when a veteran CPI(M) leader, considered the grand old Mr Fix It of coalition politics, forced the PMO and the mea to bend rules to grant extension to an Indian ambassador despite his dubious track record. The envoy, now posted in an East European country, had been recalled from his earlier posting after the President of Guyana complained against him, calling him a "security threat".

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