KOLKATA, JANUARY 10, 2010: Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav today said had Jyoti Basu been allowed to become the prime minister of the country, people would have seen a better India."I am sure the situation of the country would have been much better, if Jyoti Basu was allowed by his party to take up the job offered by the United Front in 1996," Yadav told reporters after visiting the ailing Marxist leader at a hospital here.
Basu would have set an example for others to follow, if he had become the country's premier, he said. Yadav claimed that Basu had lost by a single vote the CPI(M) politburo election on the issue of allowing the veteran leader to become the prime minister of the country."It was an unfortunate decision by the CPI(M) politburo as Basu is a leader above party line," he said. Yadav wished Basu a speedy recovery. 'He had admirable guts and fighting spirit. But it has been my biggest regret that though we all wanted to make Basu prime minister, the CPI(M) supreme body did not allow him to take up the post,' Yadav told mediapersons after visiting the critically ill leader at the private AMRI hospital.
'Had Jyoti Basu been the prime minister, then those succeeding him would have been more mindful of the chair. Had he been allowed to become prime minister, it would have raised the prestige of the chair,' Yadav, who is also the Samajwadi Party chief, said.
He recalled the happenings of 1996 when the United Front comprising several national parties and regional outfits proposed Basu's name for the top post, only to be vetoed twice by the CPI(M) central committee.
'I was told by the then CPI(M) general secretary, H.K.S. Surjeet that the committee has decided by one vote that he cannot be prime minister. 'He is an ideal leader... the country's greatest leader. We should all take inspiration from him. I have come to wish him a speedy recovery,' Yadav added.