KOLKATA, 8th January, 2010: Kerala chief minister V S Achuthanandan and Meghalaya CM D D Lapang were among the dignitaries who visited Jyoti Basu on Friday. "Doctors told me that he is better now," Achuthanandan said.
Basu's heart rate and blood pressure are not yet satisfactory and he is still on ventilator. "A person whose blood pressure has to be kept normal with medication is always critical," said Susrut Bandyopadhyay, critical care consultant and a member of the medical board. Blood tests have revealed that Basu is infected with salmonella and acinetobacter bacteria. Eight specialists from AIIMS, including pulmonologist R Guleria, cardiologist V K Bahl and neurologist Tameshwar Prasad, spoke to Basu's medical board and reportedly expressed satisfaction with the line of treatment.
The meeting was arranged with the help of the Prime Minister's Office and chief minister's secretariat. The video conference was a glitched affair, though, with the link failing twice. Doctors later held a tele-conference. The CM secretariat had asked for a list of specialists from Delhi to assess Basu's condition. A nephrologist has been included. "Both teams agree that advanced age is the main hindrance to his speedy recovery," said D N Agrawal, executive director of AMRI Hospitals.
Deve Gowda paid glowing tributes to the ailing leader and recalled the dramatic way he became Prime Minister in 1996. "We went to request Jyoti Basu to become Prime Minister but he shifted the responsibility to me. He, alone, was responsible for my becoming PM. He made a sacrifice and I became PM. I'll remember that. His 25-year-rule in Bengal was the golden era of the state. Not even his enemies can point to any corruption charges during his tenure," Gowda said. "Though the doctors couldn't wake him up, he lifted his hand when they called out my name," he said. Describing Basu as the "revolutionary of land reforms", Gowda said other states learnt from him. "I remember Ramkrishna Hegde had sent his panchayat minister to Bengal when he was chief minister of Karnataka. The Bengal land reforms policy was followed in Karnataka. He is the role model for all chief ministers and politicians," Gowda said.