Glowing tributes were paid to former West Bengal Chief Minister and veteran Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Jyoti Basu, who passed away in Kolkata on Sunday, by members of various political parties here on Monday.

A silent procession was taken out in the city to mourn the death of Jyoti Basu and as a mark of respect to the late leader in which members of the CPI(M), Communist Party of India, Congress, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Indian National League took part.

Wearing black badges, the processionists carried portraits of the late leader during the silent procession that started from the Gandhi Market arch and culminated at the Town Hall passing via the Big Bazaar street.

A condolence meeting was organised by the CPI(M) at the Town Hall where a portrait of Jyoti Basu was garlanded. Paying rich tributes to the veteran leader, representatives of various political parties described Jyoti Basu as a towering personality not only in the Indian Left movement but in Indian politics as well.

Recalling his association with Jyoti Basu in the Politburo, veteran CPI(M) leader R. Umanath, who is currently a member of the party’s central committee, described Mr. Basu as a “selfless comrade”.

Though there was an opportunity for Mr. Jyoti Basu to become the Prime Minister at one point of time, the CPI(M) took a different stand on the issue then. Mr. Basu accepted the party’s decision and did not accept the post of the Prime Minister, Mr. Umanath recalled.

The party was supreme for Mr. Jyoti Basu, Mr. Umanath said exhorting the cadres to follow his path.

Mayor S. Sujatha said Jyoti Basu was a clean leader, firm in his principles and ideology. The MDMK urban district secretary A. Malarmannan said Jyoti Basu was a guiding force for many in politics.

The Tiruchi urban district Congress Committee president Jerome Arokiaraj said Jyoti Basu as Chief Minister of West Bengal for several years had carved a niche for himself in administration and governance for others to emulate.

CPI district secretary Indrajith said West Bengal under Jyoti Basu’s rule had set an example for other States in areas such as land reforms and sharing of water. CPI(M) district secretary Sridhar said in Mr. Basu’s death the country had lost a great administrator and an able leader. Mr. Basu had given life to and allocated sufficient funds for local bodies, he added.

The Deputy Mayor K. Anbazhagan and DMK MLA K.N. Sekaran also spoke on the occasion.

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