Gopal Gandhi calls on Basu, bids adieu to Marxist veteran

Kolkata,December 13, 2009

Outgoing West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi on Sunday called on veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu at the latter's residence in a farewell call on his last day in office.

Gandhi, who arrived at around 11.45 am at the former chief minister's Indira Bhavan residence at Salt Lake, exchanged pleasantries during his 10-minute visit.

He told Basu about his departure for Chennai tomorrow. "I remember the days when we met in South Africa ... We often remember Kamal-di (Basu's late wife)," Gandhi told the veteran leader.

Basu, aided by his personal assistant Joykrishna Ghosh, told Gandhi that he found it difficult to carry on a conversation as his sight and hearing have dimmed with age.

Gandhi and Basu presented bouquets to each other.

Later, the governor told newsmen that he had first met Basu in London in 1992. "I have the privilege of having his guidance in many matters, especially in the last five years," Gandhi said.



Karat met Basu

KOLKATA, 28th NOVEMBER, 2009: The CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat met communist patriarch Jyoti Basu at his Salt Lake residence Saturday and enquired about his health. Karat arrived in Kolkata today morning to attend a party meeting Saturday and Sunday. The West Bengal unit of the CPI(M) will meet to discuss the issue of rectification guidelines for its party workers.

'Karat came to meet Basu at his Salt Lake residence today (Saturday) afternoon to enquire about his ailing health. He talked to Basu for less than 10 minutes,' Basu's personal assistant Joykrishna Ghosh said.

He said the CPI(M) general secretary did not continue the talks for long as the communist veteran was not well. 'It was just a courtesy meeting,' Ghosh said.

Later Prakash Karat slammed Trinamool Congress' demand to impose president's rule in West Bengal, saying it was against 'basic democratic principles'. 'Anybody who makes such demand should know that the demand of Article 356 (to impose president's rule) goes against the basic democratic principles. The Supreme Court has already said that the use of Article 356 against an elected government is unconstitutional,' Karat told reporters here before entering a party meeting at CPI(M) state headquarters.

About the central team which is scheduled to visit trouble-hit areas of Hooghly district, he said: 'Let the central team come and review the situation 'objectively and impartially'.

'If the central team looks at the situation, they will understand who is responsible for it. Everyone knows who is trying to destabilise the state.'