A condolence resolution describing Jyoti Basu as “the tallest man of contemporary politics” was unanimously passed by the West Bengal Assembly here on Wednesday.
“He was respected by all sections of the people at home and abroad crossing across party barriers….This House thus expresses its respectful homage to the memory of Shri Basu and pledges itself to uphold the cause of humanitarian values, secularism and national integrity for which he lived,” it said.
Basu, the resolution said was “a symbol of secularism, democracy, integrity, consensus and pragmatism.”
“Jyoti Basu was instrumental in making the working people an integral part of the political process. A pioneer in the communist movement in the country, he was a firm believer in democratic values and had worked towards strengthening parliamentary democracy,” Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said.
“From the 1940s till the last day of his life he was connected with politics and I have learnt greatly from him and by working with him,” Mr. Bhattacharjee added.
When in the Opposition Basu had “shown the way how the Opposition should play its role in parliamentary democracy.”
Later, as Chief Minister for 23 years his commitment towards democratic values, his secular outlook and his regard for the right of individuals was unwavering, recalled Mr. Bhattacharjee.
Mr. Bhattacharjee also pointed out how Basu's spirit of secularism had come to the fore in the handling of the situation in the State in the wake of the assassination of Indira Gandhi and the demolition of the Babri Masjid.
“His contribution was that he showed the way,” Speaker, H.A. Halim said referring to Basu and his efforts at upholding secularism, the rights of women, those of the working classes and in many other matters.
Paying tributes to Basu, whom he described as a leader of the masses, the Leader of the Opposition and Trinamool Congress leader, Partha Chatterjee, regretted that his successors had failed to live up to his ideals.
“He smelt politics; he smelt public opinion,” Manas Bhuniya, leader of the Congress Legislature Party said.