Leaders of different political parties, intellectuals, artists in the State paid tributes to former West Bengal Chief Minister and Communist leader Jyoti Basu at a condolence meeting organised by the State unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) here on Wednesday.

“Jyoti Basu was the symbol of left, democratic and secular forces of the country. He led from the front in the struggle for improving the country’s federal structure through restructuring of the Centre-State relations, democratic movement both inside and outside the parliamentary institutions, struggle for life and livelihood of the working class to build a modern India and a developed country,” stated the resolution adopted at the condolence meeting.

The condolence resolution also mentioned about Jyoti Basu’s contribution to left and democratic movement of Assam and his long association with the movement of railway workers of the State during his initial years of political life. It also took note of the fact that Jyoti Basu’s father became a physician from erstwhile Berry White Medical School (the present Assam Medical College located in upper Assam town Dibrugarh).

The meeting chaired by senior State CPI(M) leader Hemen Das was attended and addressed by the leaders of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), CPI, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Assam United Democratic Front (AUDF), Janata Dal (Secular) and RCPI.

Leaders of these parties specially mentioned how under Jyoti Basu’s leadership, the Left Front government embarked on land reforms in West Bengal on an unprecedented a scale in the country; instituted the panchayati raj system which gave the poor peasants and small farmers a say in running the panchayat institutions and ensured a corruption-free local self governance and how West Bengal became an oasis of communal harmony and secular values under his 23-year record tenure.

Jyoti Basu also set a very high standard for leaders of other political parties of maintaining party discipline when he abided by the decision of his own party not to join the United Front government even when the post of Prime Minister was offered to him, the leaders said.

Among other speakers former vice chancellor of Gauhati University Deva Prasad Barua and Editor, Dainik Asom and retired bureaucrat Jyoti Prasad Saikia recalled some of their personal interactions with Jyoti Basu to highlight his personality, value-based politics, honesty and other qualities of a true mass leader and a perfect administrator while paying tribute to the great leader.