Leaders pay tribute to Basu

Jyoti Basu used to say that politics was the best means of serving the people and his remarkably long political life was a testimony that he practised what he believed. In these words, former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee paid homage to former chief minister and one of the tallest Communist leaders of the country. “Today, we greatly feel his absence. He used to say that politics was the best method for serving people and our Assembly and Parliament were meant for the people. Let us take the pledge to serve people. Basu always used to raise people’s problems in the House,” he added.
Mr Chatterjee was speaking at Basu’s 99th birthday at the state Assembly. Former Assembly Speaker Hashim Abdul Halim, present Speaker Biman Banerjee, industry minister Partha Chatterjee, Trinamul Congress MP Saugata Roy and Leader of the Opposition Suryakanta Mishra were among those who paid rich tributes to Basu after garlanding his portrait.
Every speaker pointed out that Basu strictly followed the party discipline. “He sacrificed the post of the PM which was offered to him in 1996 because the party did not give its permission,” Mr Roy said.
The CPI(M) announced a year-long birth centenary programme at Mahajati Sadan where Prakash Karat, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Biman Bose threw light on different aspects of Basu’s life and political career.

Celebrating Basu’s birthday will be a deviation from the CPI(M)’s party rules. The only birthday the party satraps celebrate is that of CPI(M) founder Muzaffar Ahmad.

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No tribute to the late leader at writers’
TANYA BAGCHI
Kolkata, July 8

Former West Bengal chief minister and CPI(M) patriarch Jyoti Basu’s birthday was not celebrated at the Writers’ Buildings. After coming to power, chief minister Mamata Banerjee had been celebrating the birth and death anniversaries of important leaders, artists, singers, et al at the state secretariat. Last week, former chief minister B.C. Roy’s birthday was also celebrated at the Writers’ Buildings.
However, on this day, Basu’s birthday was celebrated at the Assembly but not at the Writers’ Buildings. Incidentally, the chief minister was not present in the city.
Controversies over Basu’s birthday took place even in 2012.

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