Basu firm on retiring on Sept. 15

CALCUTTA, SEPT. 2.The West Bengal Chief Minister, Mr. Jyoti Basu, has said he had made up his mind to retire on September 15, but the CPI(M) central leadership has asked him to continue till it was approved by the party politburo and the State committee.

``I have already made up my mind to retire on September 15, but the central leadership asked me to continue till both the politburo and the State committee approved my wishes,'' the 86- year-old Chief Minister told Rediff.Com in an interview, a transcript of which was available here today.

``Moreover, our general secretary Harkishen Singh Surjeet is currently in China. The party's highest policy decision -making body will sit together to discuss my retirement wishes only after he returns,'' Mr. Basu said.

He said age-related problems has made it increasingly difficult for him to bear the demanding work schedule of the Chief Minister's Secretariat.

Stating that he was in active politics for over 60 years and heading the Left Front Government for 24 years continuously, Mr. Basu said ``you can well understand the kind of mental and physical strain I am exposed to. That is why I had asked my party leadership to relieve me from the Chief Minister's responsibilities.''


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