Kolkata,13th Oct.: Members of the central committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), who are here to attend the three-day meet of the body, took time off on the second day of deliberations and visited veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu at his Salt Lake residence on Monday.
Mr. Basu reportedly expressed happiness on seeing his party colleagues and spent some time with them.
The 94-year-old leader also had a photo session with those who called on him.
In response to requests made by him on grounds of health, the CPI(M) leadership had relieved Mr. Basu of his responsibilities in the Polit Bureau at the 19th Party Congress held earlier this year in Coimbatore. He, however, was made a special invitee to the body besides continuing to be a member of the party’s central committee.
Mr. Basu has not been able to participate in the ongoing central committee meeting for health reasons.
Among those who visited him were CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat, party’s West Bengal State Committee secretary Biman Bose, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and Brinda Karat — all Polit Bureau members.
Besides other issues, the CPI(M) central committee is discussing the issue of alliances with like-minded secular non-Congress parties for the coming Lok Sabha elections. The need for a third alternative at the national level has been heightened in the wake of atrocities on minorities in different parts of the country, the CPI(M) leadership believes.
Speaking to journalists, central committee member Shyamal Chakravarty ridiculed Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee’s remark here on Sunday that the CPI(M) would not win even one seat in the coming Lok Sabha polls. He said she had erred in her forecast and “the figure four should be put before the zero” that Ms. Banerjee had spoken of — thus suggesting that the party would win in 40 seats [of a total of 42 in the State].