No decision yet on post-poll support to Cong.: Basu

KOLKATA, 27th February, 2009 : The Leftfront may face a tough battle in West Bengal if the Congress and Trinamool join hands in the coming Lok Sabha elections, party patriarch Jyoti Basu on Friday said while maintaining that it has not taken any decision on extending support to the former after the polls.

"We cannot say it at this stage. No decision has been taken by the party in this regard," 95-year-old Basu said when asked if the CPI(M) would extend support to the Congress after the parliamentary polls.

Basu, who came to attend the CPI(M) State secretariat meeting at the party's Alimuddin Street headquarters, told reporters that the party would face a tough battle if Congress and Trinamool Congress forged an alliance in the LS polls in West Bengal and might get less seats compared to what it had won in the 2004 election. Asked what strategy the party would adopt in the coming election, he replied, "We will go to the people and explain".

The State secretariat meeting assumed significance as it was authorised by the CPI(M) State committee to approve the party's list of candidates for the LS polls.


Jyoti Basu attends party state secretariet meeting after six months

Kolkata, Feb 20: Former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu, 94, surprised everyone at the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) headquarters at West Bengal, when he turned up to attend their weekly party meeting Friday after a gap of six months. Basu had last attended the CPI-M state secretariat meeting at the party headquarters in Alimuddin Street in 25th August, 2008. He had a fall at his Salt Lake residence early September(4th) and a blood clot was detected in his brain.

After the accident, he had stopped visiting the party headquarters due to ill-health. Also, for the first time since the CPI(M) led Left Front came to power in West Bengal in 1977, he could not attend the Brigade Parade Rally on Feb 8.

“Basu was anxious to attend the party meetings. Hence, he could not stop himself from coming to the weekly meeting,” CPI(M) Central Committee member Shyamal Chakraborty told mediapersons here. Basu told the meeting: “I can’t live without the party and if I don’t attend the meetings, won’t be able to know what’s happening here. That’s why, I decided to come to Alimuddin Street (party headquarters).”

Top CPI(M) leaders, including Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and state secretary Biman Basu, said they were only too happy to have Basu at the meeting and discussed with him not only his health but party activities.


Hasina seeks Basu's blessings to realise Sonar Bangla dream

Kolkata: Wednesday, February 18, 2009-Newly elected Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina has sought nonagenarian Marxist and former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu's blessings for a successful tenure at the helm in Bangladesh.

In an emotional letter written to Basu in Bengali, (a copy of which is available with us), Hasina writes, "Bless me so that we can fulfil the duties set upon us, honour the verdict of the people and truly work for developing my country as the Shonar Bangla (Golden Bengal)."

Hasina also expressed concern over the failing health of Basu, 94. "I am quite worried to know that you are ill. I wish you quick recovery and am looking forward to meet you in future," Hasina wrote to the longest-serving chief minister of West Bengal.

She also expressed confidence that the friendship between India and Bangladesh would be strengthened in the coming days.Basu had openly congratulated Hasina immediately after the Awami League's landslide victory some time ago.

In a congratulatory speech, Basu recalled the role of Hasina's father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and described him as the architect of Bangladesh. He also recalled his association with Hasina during her earlier tenure as prime minister of Bangladesh.

The two leaders had last met in 2006, when Hasina, then opposition leader in Bangladesh, visited Basu's house in Kolkata. They met for around 40 minutes, where Hasina thanked Basu for his role in signing the Indo-Bangladesh Ganges water sharing accord.


Opposition hampering progress of West Bengal: Jyoti Basu

Kolkata, Feb 8 : Those opposing industrialisation in West Bengal were doing so to keep the state underdeveloped and they themselves had no policies or programme, veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu said today.

"The opposition in the state are putting obstructions in the path of industrialisation to keep the state backward. They are not allowing West Bengal to progress. They are doing so as they do not have any policy or programme," the nonagenerian former chief minister said in a message sent to a Left Front rally here to kick off its Lok Sabha election campaign.

Stating that he had learnt of the Centre's clearance of the proposed PCPIR at Nayachar, Basu said, "The opposition is now threatening to obstruct it. I now think they want to oppose implementation of anything that is good and beneficial for West Bengal."

Jyoti Basu is fine, says Left Front

Kolkata, Feb 8: West Bengal’s ruling Left Front Sunday blamed “vested interests” for rumours that Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Jyoti Basu was seriously ill and said he was “fine”.“Basu is fine. He has some problems in his legs and back which is why he could not attend the gathering today (at the Brigade Parade ground),” Left Front chairman Biman Bose told the rally.

“Yesterday (Saturday) I met Basu at his residence… His doctor advised Basu not to visit any place where there may be dust. He is not with us for health reason,” he said.

Bose read out a statement from Jyoti Basu urging the people to vote for the ruling front in the coming Lok Sabha polls.

Media offices Sunday received many telephone calls from people anxious to know if Basu was seriously ill.

Basu was West Bengal’s chief minister from June 21, 1977 to Nov 6, 2000. He stepped down due to poor health and was succeeded by Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee.

Vote for more responsible government at centre: Jyoti Basu

Kolkata,7th February,2009: Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, former West Bengal chief minister and Marxist patriarch Jyoti Basu on Saturday said politicians and people should work together for a "better and more responsible government" at the centre.

"It's high time politicians and the public worked together to form a better and more responsible government (at the centre). Hence I request all people through the media to cast their votes as well as make sure that their neighbours exercise this democratic right too this election," Basu told the media at his Salt Lake residence here.

The nonagenarian, who is a veteran of the Communist Party of India-Marxist - CPI(M) that has been in power in West Bengal since 1977, called upon people to exercise their democratic right in the Lok Sabha polls in April-May.

The CPI(M), along with three other left parties, had provided crucial outside support to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government that came to power at the centre in the 2004 elections, but withdrew last year to oppose the India-US civil nuclear deal.

Coming down heavily on the state's opposition parties, primarily the Trinamool Congress, Basu said they only wanted to make West Bengal a backward state.

"The parties who are opposing the CPI(M)-backed Left Front in the coming Lok Sabha elections don't want any development - be it social, economic or political - to take place in the state. And they are thrusting their opinion on people using firearms," Basu said.

"These parties have neither a definite political agenda, nor any principle. All they are concerned about is making West Bengal a backward state. They want to harm the state and its people."

"In the absence of morality and political knowledge, all these parties understand is to make people obey them by threatening them with firearms," Basu said.



KOLKATA, 29th January: He came, saw and conquered. Having been associated with this mela, which he could watch from his Indira Bhavan terrace for the last 19 years, Jyoti Basu took a stroll was driven around, to be precise at Bidhannagar Mela, for old times' sake.
Around 5.40 pm, the veteran Marxist came to the mela ground, saw and won hearts in just a few minutes, despite age and failing health. Jyoti babu also accepted bouquets from the mela organisers. All the while he sat inside his car, disappointing the crowd that had gathered to catch a glimpse of the jananeta. The nonagenarian preferred to remain within the confines of his home for the last two months. The only other time he had been outdoors was when he called on son Chandan (barely a five-minute drive from his Salt Lake residence) last week. But public appearances have become quite a no-no for the former chief minister.
Wednesday was an exception. "We have been advising him to move around but Jyoti babu does not seem too keen on it," confessed a physician. Under the circumstances, the fair committee members did not quite expect him to climb the dais as he always would. Instead, they were happy to greet Jyoti Basu as he sat in the car.
"He just smiled and touched my hand. As he hasn't been keeping well, we did not want to bother him. We are happy that he could make it," said Ila Nandy, vice-chairperson of Bidhannagar Municipality, who is also a mela committee member. The committee members had invited him, knowing that he may not be able to visit, after all. They were pleasantly surprised to learn that Basu wished to come to the mela, which he has been inaugurating for the past 19 years.
"He could not do the honours this time because of indisposition. But since he wanted to attend the mela, we took him today," said Basu's confidential assistant Joykrishna Ghosh.