Kolkata, Jan 12 (UNI) Veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu today asserted that he was not in the race for ''Bharat Ratna''.
'' I am not in the race for the country's highest award, '' Mr Basu told the CPI(M) mouthpiece '' Ganashakti''.
Earlier, ending all speculations, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Biman Basu said the party was against it.
'' Our party has no such tradition. Jyoti Babu himself also does not want it, '' he told reporters here.
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 X X X EDs here pls pick up from Line one Para four of CA 33 ''POLITICS-BASU-BHARAT RATNA''.
UNI KDG SJC MIR AS2148