West Bengal celebrates birth anniversary of former chief minister Jyoti Basu

West Bengal today celebrated the birth anniversary of Jyoti Basu who had governed the state for over two decades- with blood donation camps, seminars and cultural programmes.

Published: 08th July 2018 10:53 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th July 2018 07:43 AM   |  A+A-

Communist Veteran Jyoti Basu led the Marxists to power five times in a row in West Bengal. (File photo | Express)

By UNI

KOLKATA: West Bengal today celebrated the birth anniversary of Jyoti Basu who had governed the state for over two decades- with blood donation camps, seminars and cultural programmes.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee paid tribute to former Bengal Chief Minister on the occasion.

"Tribute to former Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu on his birth anniversary," Ms Banerjee posted on her social networking page.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) remembered Comrade Jyoti Basu on his birth Anniversary! "Jyoti Basu was a great leader of the CPIM & one of the most distinguished Left leaders of the country," the party said in a tweet.

"An ardent Communist, he was one of the few political leaders in independent India who actually deepened democracy, strengthened secularism and brought the working people to the centre-stage of Indian politics," the party said.

One of the most revered Indian politicians and the state's former chief minister was born on this day in 1914 in an affluent family.

It was in June 1977 that Basu became the West Bengal chief minister heading a multi-party Left Front government, a post he himself decided to give up almost a quarter century later.

Under Basu's leadership, the CPI(M) expanded its social base in villages.

His government brought about sweeping agrarian reforms, devolved power to rural bodies or panchayats and undertook rapid agricultural development.

The Marxists soon developed a well-oiled election machinery that ensured victory in one election after another, stunning friends and foes alike and becoming a rarity of sorts in democratic politics around the world.

Basu led the Marxists to power five times in a row in West Bengal.

He took an active part in the confabulations in the run up to the formation of non-Congress governments in 1989, 1996, 1997 and 2004, in the process becoming a national figure.

Even after relinquishing office as chief minister in 2000, Basu continued to play a big role in the CPI(M) and Indian politics.

From 2008 until his death in January 17, 2010, he remained a permanent invitee to the central committee of the party.

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