Jyoti Basu passes away
Jyoti Basu, the 95-year-old CPM patriarch came to an end at 11.47am on Sunday. He was the only chief minister in India who helmed the West Bengal state for 28 years. Described as the “colossus of Indian politics”, he leaves behind a void that will be hard to fill, not only in the Left but also in national politics.
With Basu no more, CPM has lost the heft it had inherited from the days of the undivided CPI, and Bengal a voice that Delhi could hardly ignore.
Basu had donated his body to science. His eyes will soon help someone see. His body will be kept in Peace Haven and the last journey will begin on Tuesday. The state government has declared Monday a holiday.
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh described Basu as “a great son of India” and “a powerful regional voice in the national political scene”. Singh said he had turned to the veteran Marxist leader on many occasions for advice on important issues and the response was always pragmatic.