Sun, Jan 17 04:15 PM
Kolkata, Jan.17 (ANI): As veteran Communist leader Jyoti Basu breathed his last on Sunday here at the AMRI Hospital at 11.47 a.m. after a multiple-organ failure, the nation lost one of its finest political leaders and a man of masses in him.
The grief of Jyoti Basu's demise overwhelmed the entire political fraternity, as leaders expressed their heartfelt condolences as their last tribute to the Communist patriarch. He will always be remembered not just as the longest serving chief minister of West Bengal but also a leader who always stood by ethics in all seasons of his political career.
Union Finance Minister and head of West Bengal State Congress Pranab Mukherjee said: "He was architect of first United Progressive Alliance government. The nation lost a great Parliamentarian in him."
Basu remained chief minister of West Bengal for 24 years in his long political career. He held Chief Minister's post for five times.
Expressing her grief on the passing away of Jyoti Basu, the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, "Basu was a leader of stature. I always admired him for his worth ethics."
Conveying his condolence to Jyoti Basu, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitely said: "We have learnt a lot from him. He was such a tall political personality who worked for the poor in his lifetime."
Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari described Jyoti Basu as "a leader who did politics of principles."
An aggrieved Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who wanted Jyoti Basu to occupy Prime Minister's post as the head of coalition, said: " In Jyoti Basu's death, a great era has come to its end."
Communist Party of India leader D.Raja described Basu as "the finest Communist leader".
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his condolence letter to the departed leader's son Chandan Basu, described his father as a legendary leader of the country.
"I was deeply grieved to learn of the sad demise of your father Jyoti Basu. The passing away of Basu from the scene marks the end of an era in the annals of Indian politics. In a political career spanning more than six decades, the veteran communist leader steered his party to power in West Bengal , leaving a legacy of uninterrupted rule by the Left Front that he forged through his leadership and legendary skills in building consensus," Dr. Singh said.
" During his more than 20 years at the helm of affairs in West Bengal, he proved himself to be one of the most able administrators and politicians of independent India . He was a powerful regional voice in the national political scene and helped to strengthen Indian federalism," he added.
Dr.Singh said he had the opportunity to work with Basu and had always turned to him for his sagacious advice on all matters, whether they related to West Bengal or to issues of national importance.
"His advice was statesmanlike but always pragmatic and based on unshakable values that he championed throughout his political career," he said.
Union Home Minister P.Chidambaram, on this occasion said: "It is a sad day for us as we remember the great son of India. He has served for many decades, not only the people of West Bengal, but India...he dedicated his entire life to the nation. He was a great patriot, great democrat and a great human."
"He suffered a lot for the last fortnight. I am deeply sad and offer my sincere condolences to the people and government of West Bengal," he added.
Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad said: "Jyoti Babu was not only one of the longest serving Chief Ministers in the country but also an extremely popular mass leader. He was among the leading lights of the left movement in the country. In his death we have lost one of our tallest national leader and an ideological sage who always worked for the downtrodden."
In his condolence message, Vice-President Hamid Ansari said that Basu made significant contributions to public life, and especially to the development of West Bengal.
"I have learnt with great shock and deep anguish the unfortunate passing away of veteran leader and former Chief Minister of West Bengal Jyoti Basu. His demise is deeply mourned by the vast numbers of his friends and admirers in the country," Ansari said.
"His demise leaves a void, which will be very difficult to fill. My wife joins me in conveying our heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family and wide circles of friends and admirers and pray to give them strength to withstand this loss," he added.
Jyoti Basu breathed his last at the AMRI Hospital of multiple-organ failure at 11.47 a.m. on Sunday. He was 95.
He was admitted to the hospital on January 1 with acute respiratory failure bordering on pneumonia. He was also undergoing treatment at the hospital for age-related ailments.
On Friday, doctors at the hospital said in a medical bulletin that his condition was very critical and hope for his survival was receding.
Basu served as the Chief Minister of West Bengal for 24 years from 1977 to 2000. (ANI)