CPI(M) against Jyoti Basu's nomination for "Bharat Ratna"

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Kolkata, Jan 12 (UNI) Ending speculations over endorsing veteran leader Jyoti Basu's nomination for 'Bharat Ratna', CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Biman Basu today said the party was against it.

'' Our party has no such tradition. Jyoti Babu himself also does not want it, '' he told reporters here today.

Mr Basu, also the party's state committee secretary, said since the time when the party disapproved 'Padmabhushan' award for EMS Namboodiripad, the CPI(M) had been maintaining the old stand of not accepting any such official title.

'' We do not hanker after such titles, nor have we recommended Jyoti babu's name for Bharat Ratna like the BJP has done. The BJP is doing politics by proposing names in order to wedge a division among the people, '' he alleged.

His statement came a day after AICC General Secretary Virappan Moily made a strong case in favour of Mr Jyoti Basu for the country's highest honour.

The CPI(M) leader said many leaders of the party, who had fought for the country's freedom, refused 'Tamra Patra' and many, who were behind the bars in Cellular jail in the Andamans during the British rule, did not accept the freedom fighter's allowance from the Government after Independence.

'' Ours is a party with a difference, '' he said.

To a question on Mr Moily's remark that the veteran Marxist leader could well be a deserving candidate if former Prime Minister Atal Behari Bajpayee's name was recommended by the BJP, Mr Basu said the Congress was a different party and whatever Mr Moily said was not decided by the CPI(M).

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