Veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu’s condition remained critical here on Friday, with experts agreeing that the age of the nonagenarian was “the main hindrance to recovery.”
Mr. Basu’s condition was reviewed during the day through a video conference by a panel of experts of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, and the board of doctors set up by the city hospital to monitor his condition ever since he was admitted with pneumonia on January 1.
Among those who visited Mr. Basu at the hospital during the day were the former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, and Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, who cancelled all public engagements for two days to visit “beloved leader Comrade Jyoti Basu.”
Recounting the occasion in 1996, when Mr. Basu refused to become the Prime Minister and instead persuaded Mr. Gowda to assume the responsibility, Mr. Gowda said: “I pray that he may overcome the present condition and continue to guide the nation with his vast and rich experience.”
Describing the 23 years that Mr. Basu served as Chief Minister of West Bengal “a golden era,” Mr. Gowda commended the land reforms and Panchayati Raj system introduced in his time.
Even as every visitor wished a speedy recovery for Mr. Basu, a medical bulletin released by the hospital said there had been no significant improvement.