Leaders across the political spectrum have condoled the death of former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu.
In separate messages, they described him as a leader of great personal qualities who had made unforgettable contributions to the growth of the Communist movement in the country. Mr. Basu’s administrative acumen, his role in taking the Communist movement to the political mainstream and the way he endeared himself to leaders cutting across political barriers found special mention in the condolence messages reaching newsrooms on Sunday.
Source of inspiration
CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan termed Mr. Basu as a leader who extremely related well with the people of Kerala and who played a key role in fostering the Left and democratic movement in the State. In a condolence message, Mr. Vijayan said Mr. Basu’s election tours of Kerala after 1964 had played a pivotal role in strengthening the presence of the Left in the minds of the people of the State. Mr. Basu was both the source of inspiration for the Left movement and the person singularly responsible for the Left path of governance in the country. Even when a popular leader, Mr. Basu was a model communist who stuck to the party framework, Mr. Vijayan said.
Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac said Mr. Basu’s integration of parliamentary and organisational skills was exemplary. Dr. Isaac said the manner in which he integrated parliamentary and organisational activities was an example to all political leaders and a big lesson for the CPI(M) as well.
Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy described Mr. Basu as a leader who realised the role of the Left in Indian polity and tried to realise it in a pragmatic manner. He had dedicated his life spanning close to a century for the welfare of the downtrodden, Mr. Chandy said.
Home Minister and CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said Mr. Basu’s role in building the non-Congress secular and democratic political alternative in the country was critical. He was uncompromising in upholding the values of federalism. He abided by the party decisions and was a model for all Communists in that respect.
Recalling his long friendship with Mr. Basu, veteran Congress leader K. Karunakaran said Mr. Basu’s words carried special weight at the Chief Ministers’ conferences. Mr. Basu, he pointed out, had also played a major role in removing the blind anti-Congress sentiment among the Left.
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala described Mr. Basu as a leader who had made stellar contributions for the growth of the Communist movement in the country.
Calling Mr. Basu a stainless political personality, CPI State secretary Veliyam Bhargavan said his contributions as an organiser, revolutionary and administrator were invaluable. He could win the hearts of all sections of people and this had contributed in no small measure to the repeated electoral successes of the Left in West Bengal, the CPI leader said.
Veteran RSP leader K. Pankajakshan said Mr. Basu’s death was a loss not just for the people of Bengal but the whole nation. Party general secretary T.J. Chandrachoodan said Mr. Basu had shown to the country that Communists could not only wage class struggle but also be brilliant administrators.
Terming Mr. Basu the representative of an era, BJP State president V. Muraleedharan said he was a unique genius who contributed a new power and style to the democratic governance processes in the country.