Jyoti Basu was remembered on his first death anniversary today, with former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee paying tribute saying that the late CPI(M) patriarch’s absence was deeply felt when politics in West Bengal had turned bloody.
“The spurt in political violence and hostility are occurring daily in the State. If Jyoti babu was alive today, this situation would not have developed,” Mr. Chatterjee said after visiting Indira Bhavan where Mr. Basu had lived.
Mr. Chatterjee recounted the days when an ailing Basu, three years before his death, had invited Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee to discuss burning issues, particularly after the Nandigram violence.
“It was at Mr. Basu’s instance that the opposition leader came to his residence for discussing serious political issues.
At this juncture, Jyoti Basu’s absence is deeply felt,” Mr. Chatterjee, who has been expelled from CPI(M) for ‘anti-party activities’, said after garlanding Mr. Basu’s portrait.
CPI(M) sources said that approval had been received for the land applied for setting up of a ‘Jyoti Basu Centre for Social Studies and Research’ at Rajarhat renamed Jyoti Basunagar on the outskirts of the metropolis.
The party has appealed for donations for constructing the proposed Centre which would have a full-fledged library, an auditorium, a seminar hall primarily to provide documentation about Mr. Basu’s lifelong work for communism and contribution to the mass movement.