Kolkata, Feb 20: Former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu, 94, surprised everyone at the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) headquarters at West Bengal, when he turned up to attend their weekly party meeting Friday after a gap of six months. Basu had last attended the CPI-M state secretariat meeting at the party headquarters in Alimuddin Street in 25th August, 2008. He had a fall at his Salt Lake residence early September(4th) and a blood clot was detected in his brain.
After the accident, he had stopped visiting the party headquarters due to ill-health. Also, for the first time since the CPI(M) led Left Front came to power in West Bengal in 1977, he could not attend the Brigade Parade Rally on Feb 8.
“Basu was anxious to attend the party meetings. Hence, he could not stop himself from coming to the weekly meeting,” CPI(M) Central Committee member Shyamal Chakraborty told mediapersons here. Basu told the meeting: “I can’t live without the party and if I don’t attend the meetings, won’t be able to know what’s happening here. That’s why, I decided to come to Alimuddin Street (party headquarters).”
Top CPI(M) leaders, including Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and state secretary Biman Basu, said they were only too happy to have Basu at the meeting and discussed with him not only his health but party activities. Basu was chief minister from June 1977 to November, 2000.