Diego Maradona visits Jyoti Basu
7 Dec 2008, PTI
KOLKATA: Soccer icon Diego Maradona regards Marxist veteran Jyoti Basu as one of his close acquaintances considering his "closeness" to Cuban leader Fidel Castro. "You have seen Fidel Castro closely whom I hold in high esteem and in that respect I too consider you as close to me,"
Maradona, an ardent admirer of Castro, told nonagenarian Jyoti Basu during his ten-minute meeting with the Marxist patriarch. Basu gifted Maradona an album of photos of Fidel Castro taken during the Cuban leader's visit to the city.
The football legend was scheduled to visit Basu in the morning, but deferred it to afternoon on the second day of his tour of the city after media persons, including lensmen, were roughed up by the police and some miscreants near the CPI(M) leader's Salt Lake residence.
During the tete-e-tete, done with the help of interpreters, the former West Bengal Chief Minister wished Maradona long life. Much to the disappointment of the large crowd, Maradona, however, did not climb the dais erected in front of Basu's residence and left the area in a huff without addressing his fans.