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Home > India > News > PTI

Jyoti Basu wants to quit CPM politburo

February 22, 2008 17:38 IST
Last Updated: February 22, 2008 17:50 IST

Veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu on Friday expressed his desire to step down as a member of the Communist Party of India-Marxist politburo on health ground and decided not to attend the party Congress next month.

Asked whether he would continue to be a politburo member, 94-year-old Basu told media persons at the CPI-M state headquarters, "I do not wish to continue and I have verbally communicated this to the party leadership."

Basu, who attended the CPI-M state secretariat meeting, said he would not be participating in the forthcoming politburo meeting in New Delhi from February 25.

"I will also not attend the next month's party Congress," he said.

The CPI-M patriarch had earlier expressed similar desire, but the party did not allow him to take political 'sanyas' considering his invaluable contribution to the party's policy making decisions, especially in times of crisis.

Commenting on the agitation in Darjeeling hills, Basu said that the caretaker administrator of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, Subhas Ghising had become weak and his own partymen had gone against him.

He said Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was closely monitoring the situation and is in touch with New Delhi so that the Sixth Schedule Bill was passed in Parliament.

"I hope it will be passed," Basu said.

Basu criticised the United Progressive Alliance government for not fulfilling the Common Minimum Programme and said that the coming Union Budget should be formulated keeping in mind the interests of the farmers, workers and common people. 

Basu, known as a most pragmatic Marxist, had earlier in September 2006 wanted to step down from the politburo on health grounds, but this was turned down.

Karat had then said that Basu had to continue till the next party Congress is convened in 2008 after which the situation would be reviewed.

Considered extremely skilled at managing coalition contradictions and a strong advocate of keeping intact the alliance with Congress, Basu, however, said his party would decide on his desire to step down.

He would also not attend the CPI-M politburo meeting at Delhi beginning on February 26.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi [Images] had time and again sent External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee as emissary to talk to Basu in time of crisis especially related to Indo-US nuclear deal and other issues.

Basu, who had once criticised his party for its decision not to allow him to accept prime ministership and had described it as a 'historical blunder', has not been keeping well recently and had earlier hurt himself after a fall at his Indira Bhavan residence.

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